> 2012 press releases


Mr. Chang will replace Mr. Shotaro Oshima who resigned from the Appellate Body on 7 January 2012. Mr. Oshima’s resignation was effective as of 6 April 2012. Mr. Oshima had informed the DSB Chairperson that he would not seek reappointment for a second term.

The appointment was 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. Candidates were nominated by WTO Members and interviewed 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. The appointments were made by the DSB on the basis of the Selection Committee’s recommendation and following consultations with WTO Members.


Notes to editors

1. A biographical note on the new member is below. 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 113 reports and every report has been adopted.


Biographical Note — Seung Wha Chang

Born in Korea on 1 March 1963, Seung Wha Chang is currently Professor of Law at Seoul National University where he teaches International Trade Law and International Arbitration. 

He has served on several WTO dispute settlement panels, including US — FSC, Canada — Aircraft Credits and Guarantees, and EC — Trademarks and Geographical Indications.  He has also served as Chairman or Member of several arbitral tribunals dealing with commercial matters. In 2009, he was appointed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as a Member of the International Court of Arbitration.

Professor Chang began his professional academic career at the Seoul National University School of Law in 1995, and was awarded professorial tenure in 2002.  He has taught international trade law and, in particular WTO dispute settlement, at more than ten foreign law schools, including Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, New York University, Duke Law School, and Georgetown University.  In 2007, Harvard Law School granted him an endowed visiting professorial chair title, Nomura Visiting Professor of International Financial Systems. 

In addition, Professor Chang previously served as a Seoul District Court judge, handling many cases involving international trade disciplines.  He also practised as a foreign attorney at an international law firm in Washington D.C., handling international trade matters, including trade remedies and WTO-related disputes.

Professor Chang has published many books and articles in the field of International Trade Law in internationally-recognized journals.  In addition, he serves as an Editorial or Advisory Board Member of the Journal of International Economic Law (Oxford University Press) and the Journal of International Dispute Settlement (Oxford University Press).

Professor Chang holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) from Seoul National University School of Law;  and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) as well as a Doctorate in International Trade Law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School.


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