Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

A New UN: Independent Tribunal as a Solution to Immunity Abuse

With the issue of widespread peacekeeper sexual abuse arising amidst cases such as cholera in Haiti, the United Nations must take steps to stop the misuse of its immunity.  In this opinion piece, Danny Bradlow explores the establishment of an independent tribunal within the UN as a potential solution to the general lack of accountability. He maintains the necessity of an independent justice mechanism, putting it into the context of the upcoming 2017 appointment of the new Secretary General. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. ….. What can be done to stop the United Nations abusing its immunity Danny Bradlow, The Conversation June 26, 2016 The passage of time can play cruel tricks on noble intentions. The person selected as the new United Nations (UN) Secretary-General later this year should keep this in mind as he or she evaluates how effectively […]

UN Stands Against Arbitrary Deportations from DR

A United Nations Working Group has called on the Dominican Republic to respect international laws and end arbitrary deportations to Haiti. Up until 2013, DR considered anyone born on its soil as a citizen, except those who were “in transit” (e.g. diplomats). In September of that year, a Constitutional Court ruled that this policy no longer applied all the way back to 1929, leaving at least 200,000 people stateless. After registration deadlines passed, thousands have fled to Haiti in fear of suddenly losing their belongings and family to mass deportations. The head of the UN working group states that “No one should be deported when there are legal and valid reasons to stay.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Stop arbitrary deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent, says UN Sam Jones, The Guardian July 28, 2015 […]

86 Prominent Groups and Individuals Demand Cholera Accountability

United Nations peacekeepers caused a deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010 but despite about 9,000 deaths and over 700,000 ill, they have yet to be held accountable. At the end of May, cholera victims and their lawyers filed an appeal in their case against the UN seeking accountability for the epidemic. The following week, 86 prominent Haitian American leaders, legal and international scholars and human rights organizations signed six briefs in support of the appeal. These briefs make strong arguments demanding UN accountability and a day in court for cholera victims. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Powerful Legal Coalition Says Haitians Should Be Able to Sue UN for Cholera Outbreak Alex Smith, RYOT June 12, 2015 It’s been over five years since the people of Haiti were rocked by an earthquake that […]

European Law Scholars Support Cholera Appeal

IJDH has appealed the dismissal of its cholera case against the United Nations (UN). Fifteen European law scholars and practitioners signed the following Amicus Brief in support of IJDH’s appeal. Click HERE for the full document. BRIEF OF EUROPEAN LAW SCHOLARS AND PRACTITIONERS AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS AND SUPPORTING REVERSAL Monica Iyer June 3, 2015 INTERESTS OF AMICI CURIAE Prospective amici curiae are legal scholars and practitioners of human rights law and international law in Europe. Together, amici have substantial experience researching, publishing and litigating on the approach of European courts to international organization immunity. In particular, amici possess expertise in how courts confronted with international organization immunity in jurisdictions outside the United States have applied such immunity in a manner that comports with international law and respects individuals’ human right to access effective remedies. Amici have […]

International Law Scholars Urge District Court to Reverse Cholera Dismissal

The United Nations (UN) is directly responsible for the catastrophic cholera epidemic in Haiti, although it denies accountability. In January 2015, a NY District Court judge dismissed the cholera case against the UN. Twenty-two international law scholars, including the author, have signed the following Amicus Brief in support of IJDH’s appeal. Click HERE for the full document. BRIEF OF INTERNATIONAL LAW SCHOLARS AND PRACTITIONERS AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS AND SUPPORTING REVERSAL Muneer I. Ahmad June 3, 2015 INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE Amici curiae 1 are professors and scholars of international law, including those who have researched, published and taught on the law of international organizations.2 Several amici also work frequently with international organizations. Amici possess expertise on the nature and scope of international organizational immunity, the drafting history of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the Status of […]

Haiti Cholera Case is an Innovative Approach to Justice

Our case against the UN for its lack of accountability for Haiti’s cholera epidemic has been called “the most serious challenge yet” to international organization immunity. We couldn’t do it without a network of allies who also want to see justice for Haiti’s cholera victims. The article below features an interview with one of those allies, Jack Regan of the WilmerHale, which collaborates on the case pro bono. Click HERE for the full text. Georges v. UN: An Innovative Approach to Justice for Haiti BBA Week May 1, 2015 Five years ago, the island nation of Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Months after the 2010 disaster, Haiti faced another threat: cholera. Suddenly, an island that had never had a cholera outbreak in its recorded history was facing one of worst epidemics in […]

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