WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO


20 March 2000

DG Moore notes with sadness the passing of appellate judge Beeby

Director-General Mike Moore announced with great sadness today the passing of Christopher David Beeby, of New Zealand, one of the Members of the Appellate Body. Mr. Beeby died peacefully in his sleep on 19 March in Geneva at the age of 64.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my countryman and friend, Chris Beeby. Chris' record of public service both to New Zealand and to the WTO was one of outstanding achievement and integrity. We will all miss him terribly”, Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Beeby was appointed in December 1995 as one of the original seven Members of the Appellate Body. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body in December 1999 re-appointed him for a further four-year term. He served as Chairman of the Appellate Body in 1998. He was very active on the Appellate Body, serving on the very first appeal brought under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding in  United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline. Since that time, Mr. Beeby has served on 15 appeals and one arbitration hearing.

Before his appointment to the Appellate Body in 1995, Mr. Beeby had a long and distinguished career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Government of New Zealand, culminating in his appointment as Deputy-Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1991, and his appointment in 1992 as New Zealand Ambassador to France and Algeria, as well as Permanent Representative to the OECD.

Mr. Beeby was a highly recognized public international lawyer who participated in eight sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, in the United Nations Law of the Sea negotiations and in a wide-range of other international meetings on legal and political issues involving subjects such as marine pollution, fisheries, human rights, international humanitarian law, environment, arms control, Antartica and climate change. He was Counsel for New Zealand before the International Court of Justice in the Nuclear Tests Case from 1973 to 1974, as well as agent for New Zealand in the Rainbow Warrior arbitration from 1989 to 1990.

The Chairman of the Appellate Body, Judge Florentino Feliciano, made this statement about Mr. Beeby:

“Mr. Beeby was fully involved in the life and work of the Appellate Body, from its very beginning. He has contributed significantly to the work of the Appellate Body during its first four years of service. He is remembered by his colleagues for his unfailing courtesy and willingness to listen and consider the views of others, and for the seriousness and open-mindedness with which he approached and engaged in the work of the Appellate Body. He will be missed by all the Members of the Appellate Body both as a colleague and collaborator, and as a personal friend”.