World Trade Organization (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., Panellists and members of the Appellate Body). In that, the WTO evidences an attitude strikingly similar to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Whereas the legal regime has been heavily ‘legalized’, the people called to enforce it remain the same.
Johannesson, Louise and Petros C. Mavroidis (2015),
"Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity of the WTO Judges".
Journal of World Trade