WTO judges are proposed by the WTO Secretariat and elected to act as ‘judges’ if either approved by the parties to a dispute, or by the WTO Director-General in case no agreement between the parties has been possible. They are typically ‘Geneva crowd’, that is, they are either current or former delegates representing their country before the WTO. This observation holds for both first- as well as second-instance WTO judges (e.g. Panelists and members of the Appellate Body). In that, the WTO evidences an attitude strikingly similar to the GATT. Whereas the legal regime has been heavily ‘legalized’, the people called to enforce it remain the same.
Louise Johannesson & Petros C. Mavroidis,
Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity of the WTO Judges,
European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Global Governance Programme Policy Paper No. RSCAS 2015/17; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-463
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