Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

U.S. Appeals Court Analyzes UN Immunity in Haiti Cholera Case

In a March 1 hearing with Beatrice Lindstrom (IJDH Staff Attorney) representing Haitian cholera victims, a U.S. Appeals Court scrutinized UN immunity in this particular situation. The argument centered not on whether the UN brought cholera to Haiti but whether the organization has the right to hide behind immunity when it has provided the victims with no alternate method of seeking justice. An assistant US attorney argued in favor of absolute UN immunity.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

U.N.’s immunity from Haiti cholera responsibility comes under challenge

Tom Murphy, Humanosphere

March 3, 2016

A community member gathers water from a spring in the village of Trianon as staff members of the National Directorate for Drinking Water and Sanitation test the water for chlorination. (CDC/flickr)

Victims of Haiti’s cholera outbreak may soon have their day in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York announced a hearing to determine whether the U.N. lost its immunity for not providing a justice mechanism for people sickened by cholera imported to Haiti by a Nepalese peacekeeping unit. Lawyers for the victims made their arguments on Tuesday.

“Immunity does not mean impunity,” said Beatrice Lindstrom, a lawyer for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), a legal advocacy group based in Boston that represents the cholera victims, to the judges.

The U.N. and its lawyers did not appear before the court. It has taken the stance that it does not have to answer to the courts because of its immunity status. Based on the line of questioning by the three appellate judges, there might be a breakthrough for the case against the U.N.


Click HERE for the full text.

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