A History of Law and Lawyers in the GATT/WTO

image of A History of Law and Lawyers in the GATT/WTO

How did a treaty that emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War, and barely survived its early years, evolve into one of the most influential organisations in international law? This unique book brings together original contributions from an unprecedented number of eminent current and former GATT and WTO staff members, including many current and former Appellate Body members, to trace the history of law and lawyers in the GATT/WTO and explore how the nature of legal work has evolved over the institution's sixty-year history. In doing so, it paints a fascinating portrait of the development of the rule of law in the multilateral trading system, and allows some of the most important personalities in GATT and WTO history to share their stories and reflect on the WTO's remarkable journey from a 'provisionally applied treaty' to an international organisation defined by its commitment to the rule of law.



A country boy goes to Geneva

My journey to becoming a member of the Appellate Body began in Itu, a small town in the countryside of the state of São Paulo, in Brazil, a former Portuguese colony – where I was born. Portuguese traditions remain alive in the activities of the Brazilian state, especially in the judicial branch. Tribunals and judges unconsciously act as if they were still the sovereign’s representatives, and install their courts in buildings that resemble real palaces. Lawyers and the general public address judges as ‘your excellency’, and when they appeal to the courts they do so as if the judges were granting them a favour, instead of securing a right that derives from the constitution or the law.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error