Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Human Rights Organizations File Brief in Support of Appeal

A number of human rights organizations, including the John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic, have filed a brief in support of the recent appeal by the victims of the Haitian cholera outbreak in their case against the United Nations. According to these organizations, the original ruling by a New York court that the UN has immunity in this case is in ignorance of international human rights law. They maintain that UN accountability and redress for the cholera outbreak should continue to be demanded.

Court Erred in Cholera Case and UN Should Make Redress to Victims



A New York court failed to consider international human rights law when it ruled that the United Nations is immune from providing redress to victims of Haiti’s devastating cholera epidemic.

That’s according to new briefs filed by The John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) and other human rights groups and individuals in an ongoing lawsuit against the U.N.

On Oct. 9, 2013, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt filed a lawsuit against the U.N. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of Haitian cholera victims and their families. The case demanded the installation of water and sanitation infrastructure to control the epidemic and save more than 5,000 lives a year. On January of 2015, the court held that the U.N. enjoys nearly absolute legal immunity. The victims have filed an appeal asking the Court of Appeals to reverse the District Court’s dismissal.

The John Marshall IHRC is part of a coalition of human rights organizations in support of the victims’ appeal. The briefs were authored by John Marshall’s IHRC and attorneys from the California Western School of Law and Center for Constitutional Rights. It was signed by two dozen human rights and human interest groups from around the world.


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