San Diego International Law Journal

Article Title

The Evolution of a New International System of Justice in the United Nations: The First Sessions of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In this overview of the new U.N. administration of justice system, a review has been undertaken of the evolution of the process from the former internal justice system to the development of the new administration of justice system. The Appeals Tribunal had a partially blank slate upon which to begin a new jurisprudence in international administrative law. In the first two sessions, the Appeals Tribunal decided upon a wide range of issues ranging from receivability, case management, disciplinary measures and pension cases. As the U.N. attempts to reform and streamline its bureaucratic structure for the 21st century, the judicial tribunals must evolve to reflect the corresponding changes in judicial procedural and substantive law. Today in the U.N., contractual arrangements are less permanent, presenting instability and uncertainty in employment security for the staff member. Modern day issues such as professional harassment, gender discrimination, same-sex marriages, employer retaliation, or the proprietary rights of technology will likely come before the Appeals Tribunal in different forms. It was important for the Appeals Tribunal to establish its judicial authority in the first two sessions. First, the Appeals Tribunal established itself as a Tribunal of limited jurisdiction for appeal. Second, the Appeals Tribunal held the Dispute Tribunal accountable for the fairness of its decisions for both the Secretary-General and the staff member, and certainty of procedures for all stakeholders who appear before the Tribunals.

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