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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

A Common Gauge: Harmonization & International Law

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
5:00 p.m.
Barat House, Boston College Law School

with Hon. James L. Bacchus
Chair, Greenberg Traurig’s Global Practice Group; Former Founding U.S. Member, WTO Appellate Body; and Former U.S. Congressman

Co-sponsored by the Economics Department and Boston College Law School.

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speaker bio



James Bacchus Chairs Greenberg Traurig’s Global Practice Group and is a leader in the firm’s overall worldwide practice. His emphasis in his own practice is on international business, including trade, investment, finance and sustainable growth. In particular, Bacchus offers legal and strategic advice to worldwide clients based on his unique experience with the many issues relating to the global rules for trade and commerce of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He is a former chief judge on the highest international tribunal of world trade, a former Member of the Congress of the United States, and a former Special Assistant to the United States Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President.

Bacchus works worldwide for the firm’s clients on international business of all kinds, and is also engaged worldwide in numerous additional efforts to address shared global concerns. He is among the “B20” global business leaders selected to advise the “G20” heads of state on the international economy; he chairs the global Commission on Trade and Investment Policy of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce; and he chairs the Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability of the Davos-based World Economic Forum.

Previously, he served as the Chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, the global court of final appeal in international trade in Geneva, Switzerland. The seven judges of the Appellate Body hear final appeals in international trade disputes involving the 95 percent of world commerce conducted by the more than five billion people in the more than 150 countries and other customs territories that are the Members of the WTO.

In addition to his service at the WTO, Bacchus has also served as a Member of the Congress of the United States, from 1991 to 1995, representing the 15th Congressional District of Florida as a Member of the United States House of Representatives. His district included much of Orlando, Walt Disney World, Cape Canaveral, and the "Space Coast" of Central Florida. He was elected to two terms in the Congress, and chose not to seek election to a third term. He was the first Democrat in the history of the South elected to an open seat in the Congress in a district where Republicans outnumbered Democrats. More »