Ms Cherise M. VallesDeputy Director
+41 22 919 21 13


Ms Valles is Deputy Director at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL).  Before becoming Deputy Director, Ms. Valles had been Senior Counsel at the ACWL.  She has assisted ACWL developing country Members in several dispute settlement proceedings before the WTO Appellate Body, panels and arbitrators. She has also drafted numerous legal opinions on the WTO agreements, including on the GATT, GATS, the Customs Valuation Agreement, TRIPs, SCM and the Safeguards Agreement. She was actively involved in the development of the ACWL training programme and has taught at all the courses.

Before joining the ACWL, Ms Valles was at the U.S. law firm of Sonnenschein (now Dentons). She provided advice to corporate clients on international trade law issues, including on the WTO agreements and the NAFTA.

Prior to Sonnenschein, she was Counsel in the Trade Law Bureau of the Canadian government, where she provided legal advice and advocacy services in several WTO cases. She provided legal advice to the Canadian government on a wide range of trade law issues including services, investment, intellectual property and the Canada – U.S. softwood lumber dispute. Ms Valles was also responsible for WTO institutional matters, including providing analyses of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports.

Ms Valles joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1989. During the Uruguay Round, she was responsible for trade policy issues in the Services, Investment and Intellectual Property Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  She had a three-year posting as a Trade Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ms Valles was born in Bombay, India. She has a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science from McGill University, a M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and an LL.B. from the University of Ottawa. She was called to the Bar of Ontario, Canada.


Ms Valles has lectured on WTO law for international organisations (e.g., IDLO) and at the university level (e.g., the LL.M. programme at the University of Western Cape, South Africa). She has been appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as an Arbitrator for domain name disputes.

She presents regularly at WTO training programmes, most recently as a panellist on “Litigation Techniques” at the WTO Advanced Course on Dispute Settlement.

Other presentations include:

  • “Do developing countries have policy space to achieve legitimate objectives”, ITCSD Symposium, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • “The WTO Dispute Settlement System: the challenges faced by developing countries”, University Of Dundee, Scotland.
  • “Role of Non-State Actors in WTO Dispute Settlement”, WTO Public Forum.
  • “Burden of Proof – A Burden for Developing Countries?” at a seminar on dispute settlement organised by ICTSD in Geneva.
  • “Treaty Interpretation under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties” at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London.
  • “Implementation Issues Arising under the WTO Agreement” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Advanced Seminar on the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding in Singapore.


Ms. Valles’ publications include:

  • “Different Forms of Expert Involvement in WTO Dispute Settlement”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, Vol. 9, No. 3, September 2018.
  • “The Appellate Body Report in China – Rare Earths: Addressing Violations of WTO-Plus Obligations”, Global Trade and Customs Journal, April 2015, Vol. 10, pp 130-136.
  • “Article V – Freedom of Transit” in Rüdiger Wolfrum, Peter-Tobias Stoll & Holger Hestermeyer, (eds), Trade in Goods: Max Planck Commentaries on WTO Law (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010.)
  • “The Right to Retaliate under the WTO Agreement: the ‘Sequencing’ Problem” (co-author) Journal of World Trade (2000) 34:2, 63-84.
  • “eCommerce in International and Regional Organizations”, chapter in International eCommerce: Business and Legal Issues (CCH Publishers), March 2001.

To contact Ms Valles, email to:

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Leo PalmaJan Bohanes