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SIPA's Merit E. Janow Appointed to World Trade Organization's Seven-Member Appellate Body

By Katherine Moore

Merit Janow

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) appointed Columbia University's Merit E. Janow to its Appellate Body, the WTO's highest court of appeals, on Friday, November 7. Janow, professor in the practice of international economic law at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), is the only North American representative on the prestigious seven-member body. Replacing James Bacchus, former U.S. Congressman, she will serve a four-year term. The Appellate Body is tasked with hearing appeals relating to issues of law and legal interpretations developed by dispute settlement panels.

"I am very pleased with today's decision to appoint Merit Janow," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick in a USTR press released issued on Friday, November 7. "Professor Janow embodies the qualities we seek in the Appellate Body itself: integrity, public and professional experience on a broad spectrum of issues and judicial temperament to ensure the highest level of objectivity." USTR nominated Janow and one other American for the post in late October.

Janow joined Columbia University in 1994 and currently teaches courses in international economic and trade policy at SIPA and international trade law and antitrust at Columbia Law School. Before joining the Columbia faculty, she was Deputy Assistant Trade Representative for Japan and China (1990-1993), and practiced as a corporate attorney for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York where she worked on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Janow is the author of numerous publications on U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Asian economic and trade relations as well as on international economic law and policy. She served as Executive Director of an international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and as a WTO panelist in a 2001-2002 trade dispute "European Communities -- Trade Description of Sardines" (WT/DS231). She received a law degree from Columbia University.

"It is a great honor to serve on the Appellate Body. I welcome the opportunity to work with its distinguished members," said Janow. "The dispute settlement system is an important initiative that came out of the Uruguay Round." (The Uruguay Round was a series of trade negotiations from 1986 to 1994 that led to the establishment of the WTO.)

The Janow nomination was formally approved by the full WTO membership in a November 7 Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) meeting and a statement announcing her selection was issued the same day. According to USTR, it "... was the result of a recommendation from a WTO selection committee composed of diplomats from all over the world serving as the chairpersons of the key WTO committees."

The WTO also reappointed three other members to the Appellate Body last week including 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.

Published: Nov 12, 2003
Last modified: Nov 12, 2003

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