Thursday, June 25, 2009
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) appointed two new members to its Appellate Body this week: Mr Ricardo Ramírez Hernández of Mexico was appointed to a four-year term commencing on 1 July 2009 and Mr Peter Van den Bossche of the European Communities also was appointed to a four-year term commencing on 12 December 2009. These two gentlemen will replace Mr Luiz Olavo Baptista of the Philippines, who resigned last February for health reasons, and Mr Giorgio Sacerdoti of Italy, whose second and final term expires on 11 December 2009. The DSB also agreed to reappoint Mr David Unterhalter of South Africa, the current Chair of the Appellate Body, for a second four-year term starting on 12 December 2009. The WTO Appellate Body is a standing body that hears appeals from WTO dispute resolution panels. It has seven members who must be “persons of recognized authority, with demonstrated expertise in law, international trade and the subject matter of the WTO agreements generally.” The WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding also requires that the Appellate Body membership be broadly representative of the WTO membership.