The United Nations Dispute Tribunal was established by the UN General Assembly and became operational on 1 July 2009. It is the first instance court in the new system of administration of justice. The Dispute Tribunal hears and decides cases filed by or on behalf of current and former staff members appealing administrative decisions alleged to be in non-compliance with their terms of appointment or contract of employment. The Tribunal conducts hearings, issues orders, and renders binding judgments. Both staff members and the Administration have a right to appeal the judgments of the Dispute Tribunal to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.
As a transitional measure from the former system, the Dispute Tribunal also hears and passes judgment on cases transferred from the former Joint Appeals Boards, Joint Disciplinary Committees and United Nations Administrative Tribunal.