Article 4 – General Obligations

Each Contracting Party shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and procedures with its obligations as provided in this Treaty.

This provision is of particular importance: while the rights and obligations under the Treaty are at the level of the Contracting Parties to the Treaty, the Multilateral System of access and benefitsharing will, in part, operate in practice at the level of individuals and within the sphere of private contract law and administrative procedures. Article 12.5, for example, provides that Contracting Parties shall ensure that an opportunity to seek recourse is available under their legal systems in case of contractual disputes arising under MTAs entered into within the framework of the Multilateral System. The obligation assumed by Contracting Parties under this Article is concrete and unqualified. However, the provision does not require each Contracting Party to adopt new laws and regulations, if it is satisfied that the obligations assumed under the Treaty can be implemented effectively under existing laws and regulations.

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