Traditionally, women have not been well represented on international adjudicative bodies, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, where almost all judges have been male. The same tradition was found in past international trade adjudication, where only 5 per cent of the 168 panelists who served during the lifetime of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) were women.
The WTO's dispute settlement system has fared somewhat better. Of the 209 WTO panels composed since 1995, 90 have included women panelists, representing about 43 per cent of the total panels. Since the establishment of the Appellate Body in 1995, there have been 25 Appellate Body members, four (or 16 per cent) of which have been women. The WTO record therefore stands out positively in comparison with that of many other international dispute settlement bodies.
More information on the history of women in WTO dispute settlement and international arbitration is available here.
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