The J.B. Moore Society of International Law


The Program in International Law

are pleased to present

The Honorable James Bacchus

Member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization

Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives

"Inventing the World Trading System:

The WTO and the Law of Global Commerce"


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James Bacchus

James Bacchus has spent a lifetime in public service--service that has ranged from grass-roots citizenship to international statesmanship. As journalist, Governorís aide, international trade negotiator, attorney, community leader, Congressman, college professor, and now also as the youngest member of the highest court of world trade, Bacchus has shown his abiding commitment to service. He is one of a rising generation of creative new leaders committed to revitalizing democracy in America and inspiring democracy worldwide.

The first person in his family to receive a college degree, he earned a full academic scholarship as a Founders Scholar at Vanderbilt University and was graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with high honors in history in 1971. He received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to attend graduate school at Yale University, where he studied with the preeminent American historian C. Vann Woodward and earned a Master of Arts degree in history in 1973. He attended law school full-time while also working in the Governorís office in Tallahassee and received his Juris Doctor degree in law with high honors in 1978 from the Florida State University College of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the F.S.U. Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Bacchus is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the International Law Association, and the American Society of International Law. He has served on the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar.

During his service in the Congress of the United States, the Washington Post described Bacchus as one of the "profiles in courage" in the House of Representatives. The Wall Street Journal has called him a "good-government Democrat." In his home state of Florida, the Orlando Sentinel has praised him as "intrepid, studious, hardworking, and diligent" and as someone who puts "his countryís future before his own political career" and chooses to "lead in the midst of the crowd." Florida Today has said simply that he "offers the vision and leadership needed to build a better future."

His opportunities for building the future were enhanced considerably in December, 1995, when Bacchus was named as one of the seven members worldwide of the newly created Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO is essentially the United Nations of world trade, charged with establishing trade policies and trade rules worldwide and with resolving trade disputes among more than 130 nations involving about 90 percent of all world commerce. The New York Times has described the Appellate Body as "essentially the Supreme Court of world trade." The Appellate Body was created when the Uruguay Round trade agreements transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the GATT) into the new WTO and greatly strengthened its scope and sway in governing world trade. The new trade tribunal makes binding decisions on final appeals from WTO decisions in trade disputes among nations involving manufacturing, agriculture, services, intellectual property, investment, and other areas of world commerce.

Nominated by both the President of the United States and the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Congress, Bacchus was the only North American selected by the more than 130 member nations of the WTO as a founding member of the Appellate Body. He is by sixteen years the youngest member of the new court, which also includes distinguished jurists from Japan, Germany, Uruguay, Egypt, New Zealand, and the Philippines.


The J.B. Moore Society

The John Bassett Moore Society of International Law (J.B. Moore Society), founded in 1951, is the oldest organization of its kind in North America. The J.B. Moore Societyís primary objective is to contribute to the development of international law by fostering interest and understanding in the field. To promote that goal, the Society sponsors speaker programs, conferences, publications, an international law moot court team, social activities, a mentorship program for LLM students, and language tables. The J.B. Moore Society is on-line at


The Program in International Law

The Program in International Law seeks to foster a sense of community among those students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law who are interested in international law. The Program, funded by the Law School and directed by Professor John Setear, seeks to foster this sense of community by bringing speakers to the Law School with practical experience in international law and policy, and by providing on-line materials to inform and assist students at the Law School interested in international law. The Program is on-line at


This spring, the Program in International Law and the J.B. Moore Society are co-sponsoring a series of talks on international trade law, of which Mr. Bacchusí address today is the first.