The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) appointed on 19 June 2009 the following two new members to the seven-member Appellate Body: Mr Ricardo Ramírez Hernández of Mexico for four years commencing on 1 July 2009 and Mr Peter Van den Bossche of the EC for four years commencing on 12 December 2009.
Messrs Ramírez and Van den Bossche will replace Mr Luiz Olavo Baptista, who resigned owing to health reasons with effect from 11 February 2009, and Mr Giorgio Sacerdoti, whose second and final term expires on 11 December 2009. The DSB also agreed to reappoint Mr David Unterhalter for a second four-year term starting on 12 December 2009.
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. 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.
Biographical Note — Ricardo Ramírez Hernández
Born in Mexico on 17 October 1968, Ricardo Ramírez is Counsel and Head of the International Trade Practice for Latin America at the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke in Mexico City. His practice has focused on issues related to NAFTA and trade across Latin America, including international trade dispute resolution. He holds the Chair of International Trade Law at the Mexican National University (UNAM) in Mexico City.
Prior to practicing with a law firm, Mr. Ramírez was Deputy General Counsel for Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Economy in Mexico for more than a decade. In this capacity, he provided advice on trade and competition policy matters related to 11 Free Trade Agreements signed by Mexico, as well as with respect to multilateral agreements, including those related to the WTO, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).
Mr. Ramírez also represented Mexico in complex international trade litigation and investment arbitration proceedings. He acted as lead counsel to the Mexican government in several WTO disputes. He has also served on NAFTA panels.
Mr. Ramírez holds an LL.M. degree in International Business Law from the Washington College of Law of the American University, and a law degree from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.
Biographical Note — Peter Van den Bossche
Born in Belgium on 31 March 1959, Peter Van den Bossche is currently Professor of International Economic Law and Head of the Department of International and European Law at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He also serves as the Academic Director of Maastricht University's Institute for Globalization and International Regulation and is on the faculty of the World Trade Institute in Berne, and the Institute of European Studies of Macau.
Mr. Van den Bossche has extensive experience in academia and has published extensively in the field of international economic law. The second edition of his textbook The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization was published by Cambridge University Press in 2008. Mr. Van den Bossche is a Member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of International Economic Law. He has also acted as a consultant to many developing countries.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Van den Bossche was Counsellor and subsequently Acting Director of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat. From 1990 to 1992, he served as a Référendaire of Advocate General W. van Gerven at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Mr. Van den Bossche holds a Doctorate in Law from the European University Institute, Florence, an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School, and a Licentiaat in de Rechten magna cum laude from the University of Antwerp.