Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 15:25 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 15:25 | SYDNEY

The UN: Resisting a clean-up


Fergus Hanson


14 May 2010 14:20

Back in November 2008 I wrote about the short-listing of several Australian judges to sit on two new UN internal dispute tribunals, which were set up to replace the shambolic former system. I was a little sceptical the new structures would succeed: of the biggest obstacles to justice in the past was the significant financial implications of compensating so many staff who had been so poorly managed/abused for so long. States, it seemed, were reluctant to cough up for UN managerial incompetence.  

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald today suggests NSW Supreme Court judge Michael Adams, who was appointed to one of the new bodies, has found the new UN justice regime something like the old one — and at least as frustrating.

Justice Adams has accused the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, of 'wilful disobedience' and barred Mr Ban's lawyers from speaking in court until they comply with an order to produce internal documents related to a case. As he put it in an 8 March ruling:

In my review the refusal constituted an attack on the rule of law embodied in the statute of the tribunal.

It's nice to see someone prepared to hit back at a system in desperate need of some reform, but I don't know I would back him against the UN bureaucracy.

Photo by Flickr user lambdachialpha, used under a Creative Commons license.