25 May 2000

WTO Completes appointment of Appellate Body Members

The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) today (25 May) completed the appointments to the Appellate Body by selecting Mr Yasuhei Taniguchi of Japan who joins Mr G M Abi-Saab of Egypt and Mr A V Ganesan of India who were appointed by the DSB in April this year. The new Appellate Body Members will replace Messrs S El-Naggar of Egypt and M Matsushita of Japan whose terms of office expired on 31 March, and Mr C Beeby of New Zealand who passed away on 19 March. The Appellate Body now has a full complement of seven Members.

These appointments will commence in June 2000. Appellate Body Members are generally appointed for a four-year term, but as Mr Taniguchi is replacing Mr Beeby, he will serve for the remainder of Mr Beeby's term (which is approximately three and a half years). The appointments were made according to the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) which stipulates that the Appellate Body shall "comprise persons of recognized authority with demonstrated expertise in law, international trade and the subject matter of the WTO agreements generally." The DSU also requires that the Appellate Body be broadly representative of the WTO membership. These appointments were based on a proposal by a Selection Committee comprising the Director-General, and the Chairmen of the General Council, the DSB, the Council for Trade in Goods, the Council for Trade in Services and the TRIPS Council, after consultations with WTO Members. Back to top

Notes to editors

1. Biographical notes on Messrs Abi-Saab, Ganesan and Taniguchi are attached. Notes on the four other Appellate Body members – James Bacchus of the United States, Claus-Dieter Ehlermann of Germany, Florentino Feliciano of the Philippines and Julio Lacarte-Murˇ of Uruguay – are contained in Press/32, dated 29 November 1995.

2. The Appellate Body hears appeals from dispute panel reports on issues of law covered in the panel report and legal interpretations developed by the panel. Three members of the Appellate Body hear and determine any one appeal. The Appellate Body can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel. Thirty days after it is issued, an Appellate Body report is adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body, and unconditionally accepted by the parties to the dispute, unless there is a consensus against its adoption. Since its establishment in November 1995, the Appellate Body has issued 27 reports.

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Biographical notes
Georges Michel ABI-SAAB

Born in Egypt on 3 June 1933, Georges Michel Abi-Saab is Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Honorary Professor at Cairo University’s Faculty of Law, and a Member of the Institute of International Law.

Mr Abi-Saab served as consultant to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the preparation of two reports on "Respect of Human Rights in Armed Conflicts" (1969 and 1970), and for the report on "Progressive Development of Principles and Norms of International Law relating to the New International Economic Order" (1984). He has also served as a Judge on the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and as a Member of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund and of various international arbitral tribunals.

Mr Abi-Saab is the author of two courses at the Hague Academy of International Law, and of several books and articles, including "International Crises and the Role of Law: The United Nations Operation in the Congo 1960-1964" (Oxford University Press 1978).

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Arumugamangalam Venkatachalam GANESAN

Born in India on 7 June 1935, Arumugamangalam Venkatachalam Ganesan served in the Government of India for 34 years until his retirement on 30 June 1993. During his long career, he held various positions in his Government and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, including: Commerce Secretary (1991-1993) in charge of India’s foreign trade policy and chief negotiator of India in the Uruguay Round; Civil Aviation Secretary (1990-1991); Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Industry (1986-1989) in charge of industrial policies, foreign investment in India, administration of India’s laws on patents, designs and trade marks, closely associated with the TRIPS agenda in the Uruguay Round; and Inter-Regional Adviser (1980-1985) at the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations in New York.

Since his retirement from government service, Mr Ganesan has been active as a consultant for the UNDP and for the private and public sectors in India. He was, until recently, a member of the Permanent Group of Experts under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures; a member of the Indian Government's Trade Advisory Committee on multilateral trade negotiations; and a member of a WTO dispute settlement panel examining the European Communities’ complaint against Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act.

Mr Ganesan has written numerous newspaper articles and monographs dealing with the Uruguay Round, the WTO and the Seattle Ministerial Conference. He is the author of several papers on trade and investment issues published by various UN agencies such as UNCTAD and UNIDO, and has contributed to many books published in India concerning the Uruguay Round and intellectual property rights.

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Born in Japan on 26 December 1934, Yasuhei Taniguchi is Professor of Law at Tokyo Keizai University, and an Attorney at Law in Tokyo. He has been a Visiting Professor at several universities, including: University of Hong Kong; Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC; Stanford Law School, University of California; Murdoch University, Perth; University of Melbourne; Harvard Law School; University of Paris XII; and New York University School of Law.

Mr Taniguchi is affiliated to several legal institutions including the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association; International Council for Commercial Arbitration; the American Law Institute; and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has handled many international arbitration cases and is listed in the arbitrators’ panel of the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association; the American Arbitration Association; the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre; the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission; and the Cairo Regional Centre of Commercial Arbitration.

He has written numerous books and articles in the fields of civil procedure, arbitration, judicial system/legal profession, and comparative/international law. His publications have appeared in Japanese, Chinese, English, French, Italian and German.