25 September 2001

WTO appoints new Appellate Body Members

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) decided today (25 September) to appoint the following persons to the 7-member Appellate Body for four years:
Mr Luiz Olavo Baptista of Brazil
Mr John S Lockhart of Australia
Mr Giorgio Sacerdoti of the European Communities

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The new members, whose commencement date will be fixed in the near future, will replace Mr Claus-Dieter Ehlermann (the EC), Mr Florentino Feliciano (the Philippines) and Mr Julio Lacarte-Muro (Uruguay), whose terms of office expire on 10 December 2001. The four continuing members in the complement of seven are: Mr J Bacchus (the US), Mr G M Abi-Saab (Egypt), Mr A V Ganesan (India), and Mr Y Taniguchi (Japan).

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. The 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 consultation with WTO Members.

The Appellate Body was established in November 1995 to hear appeals from dispute panel reports on issues of law covered in the panel report and legal interpretations developed by the panel. The Appellate Body can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of the panel. Thirty days after it is issued, an Appellate Body report is adopted by the DSB, 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 40 reports, all of which are available on the WTO Website: www.wto.org.

Notes to editors

Biographical notes on the three new members are attached. Biographical notes on Messrs Abi-Saab, Ganesan and Taniguchi are contained in Press/179, dated 25 May 2000. Biographical notes on Mr Bacchus and the three outgoing members are contained in Press/32, dated 29 November 1995.


Biographical notes 

Luiz Olavo BAPTISTA Back to top

Born in Brazil on 24 July 1938, Luiz Olavo Baptista is Professor of Law at the Department of International Law, University of Sao Paulo Law School. He has been practising law for more than thirty years as lawyer, counsel and arbitrator in Brazil and abroad, advising corporations, governments and individuals.

Professor Baptista obtained Full Professorship of International Law in Sao Paulo University Law School in 1993, and has written many books and articles concerning new and complex legal issues, particularly those related to international business, trade and foreign investments.

Professor Baptista was one of the pioneers in studying international arbitration in Brazil, and has a long experience in arbitration procedures in different jurisdictions. He participates as a member of the arbitral corps of several associations, and has acted as advisor for Brazilian and international organizations. He also has extensive experience in the issuance of legal opinions, structuring and preparation of merger and acquisition and joint ventures agreements.

John S LOCKHART Back to top

Born in Australia on 2 October 1935, John S Lockhart has been Executive Director at the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines since July 1999, working closely with developing member countries on the development of programmes directed at poverty alleviation through the promotion of economic growth. His other duties at the ADB include the development of law reform programmes and provision of advice on legal questions, notably the interpretation of the ADB's Charter, international treaties and UN instruments.

Prior to joining the ADB, Mr Lockhart served as Judicial Reform Specialist at the World Bank focusing on strengthening legal and judicial institutions and working closely with developing countries and economies in transition in their projects of judicial and legal reform.

Since graduating in law from the University of Sydney in 1958, Mr Lockhart's professional experience has included: Judge, Federal Court of Australia (1978-1999); President of the Australian Competition Tribunal (1982-1999); Deputy President of the Australian Copyright Tribunal (1981-1997); and Queen's Counsel, Australia and the United Kingdom Privy Council (1973-1978).

Giorgio SACERDOTI Back to top

An Italian, born in France on 2 March 1943, Giorgio Sacerdoti has been Professor of International Law and European Law at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy, since 1986.

Professor Sacerdoti has held various posts in the public sector including: Vice-Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions (since 1999); Panellist at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (since 1981); and Consultant to the Council of Europe (1996), UNCTAD (1998-2000), World Bank (1999-2000) in matters related to international investments, trade, bribery, development and good governance. In the private sector, he has often served as arbitrator and chairman of arbitration tribunals and in ad hoc arbitration proceedings for the settlement of international commercial disputes.

After graduating from the University of Milan with a law degree summa cum laude in 1965, Professor Sacerdoti gained a Master in Comparative Law from Columbia University Law School as a Fulbright Fellow in 1967. He was admitted to the Milan bar in 1969, and to the Supreme Court of Italy in 1979. He is a Member of the Committee on International Trade Law of the International Law Association.