Legal work in the GATT, 1969–91

When joining the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Secretariat in September 1969, I was told that I had been hired because of my legal background, notably in the field of international economic law, but would not be a ‘legal’ officer since there was no legal division or unit at that time. Professional staff members had no legal title of any sort; they were economic affairs officers, counsellors or directors. Apparently this was because the members, the ‘contracting parties’ to the GATT, did not want a group of lawyers in the Geneva headquarters telling them what they could do, or could not do, in their commercial dealings with one another.

Related Topics: The WTO
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