7 November 2003

WTO appoints new Appellate Body Member and reappoints three existing Members

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) appointed today (7 November 2003) Ms Merit E. Janow of the United States to the seven-member Appellate Body for a four-year term. Ms Janow will replace Mr James Bacchus of the United States, who is currently finishing his second and final term as a member of the Appellate Body. At the same time, the DSB reappointed Messrs Georges Michel Abi-Saab of Egypt, Arumugamangalam Venkatachalam Ganesan of India and Yasuhei Taniguchi of Japan, each of whom will serve a second four-year term.

Ms Janow will commence her term on 11 December 2003 and Mr Taniguchi will start his second term on the same day. Messrs Abi-Saab and Ganesan will commence their second terms on 1 June 2004, immediately following the expiry of their respective terms on 31 May 2004.

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 membership be broadly representative of the WTO membership. These appointments were made following consultations with WTO Members and on the basis of a proposal by a Selection Committee comprising the Director-General, and the Chairpersons of the General Council, the DSB, the Council for Trade in Goods, the Council for Trade in Services and the TRIPS Council.

Notes to editors

1.   A biographical note on Ms Janow is attached. Biographical notes on the three reappointed members — Messrs Abi-Saab, Ganesan and Taniguchi — are contained in Press/179, dated 25 May 2000. A biographical note on the outgoing member, Mr Bacchus, is contained in Press/32, dated 29 November 1995. Biographical data on all of the Appellate Body members and former members may be found on the WTO web site.

2.   The Appellate Body hears appeals from dispute settlement 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. Appellate Body reports are adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body, and unconditionally accepted by the parties to the dispute, unless there is a consensus against adoption. Since its establishment in November 1995, the Appellate Body has issued 56 reports and every report has been adopted.

Biographical note — Merit E. Janow

Born in the United States on 13 May 1958, Ms Merit E. Janow has been since 1994 Professor in the Practice of International Economic Law and International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University. She teaches advanced law courses in international trade and comparative antitrust law along with courses on international trade policy.

Before joining Columbia’s faculty in 1994, Ms Janow was Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Japan and China (1990-93), and worked as a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York (1988-90).

Ms Janow is the author of several books and has contributed chapters to more than a dozen books. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and speaks Japanese. Ms Janow served as a WTO panellist from September 2001 to May 2002 in the dispute European Communities — Trade Description of Sardines (WT/DS231).