UN APPEALS TRIBUNAL JUDGES
On 30 October 2020 the new bureau for 2021 was elected.
UNAT is composed of seven Judges, appointed by the General Assembly. The current composition of the Tribunal is as follows:
Martha Halfeld Furtado de Mendonça Schmidt, President (Brazil)
Judge Halfeld is the twelfth President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal. She is currently a labour judge in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a post she has held since 1994. She often replaces judges at the Appeals Court and takes part in panels for the selection of judges. She has a PhD in Private Law from the Université Panthéon-Assas, (Paris II), France, as well as other post-graduate qualifications from the same university, including a Master’s degree in law. From 2011 to 2013, she was a Counsellor and teacher at the National Judicial Training Centre for Labour Judges in Brazil. For 12 years, until 2013, she served as a Counsellor and teacher at the Regional Judicial Training Centre for Labour Judges in Minas Gerais state. Since 2011, she has been a strong advocate of mediation as a consensual dispute resolution mechanism. From 2012 to 2013, she was a member of the Permanent Commission for Conciliation at the Appeals Court for Labour Affairs in Minas Gerais state. She has also been a Professor on a number of post-graduate courses. She has wide international experience, having participated in several international courses, seminars, workshops and congresses, especially in Latin America and Europe, either as a lecturer or as an organizer. She has authored more than 40 published books, chapters, reports, commentaries, presentations and judgments on labour law and labour protection, bullying in the workplace, discrimination, human rights, safety and health at work, constitutional review, alternative dispute resolution, international labour standards, and trainer training. Her first language is Portuguese, she is fluent in English and French, and has a good understanding of Spanish and Italian.
Graeme Colgan, First Vice-President (New Zealand)
Judge Graeme Colgan graduated LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1976 and was admitted to the New Zealand bar in the same year. He practiced as a barrister and solicitor in the fields of employment law, family law, criminal law and general civil litigation until 1987 when he became a barrister sole. In 1989 he was appointed as a Judge of the Labour Court of New Zealand. In 2005, Judge Colgan was appointed as Chief Judge of the New Zealand Employment Court. He retired from judicial office in 2017 after 28 years on the bench, the last 12 as the Chief Judge. Judge Colgan has delivered many lectures at several New Zealand universities. He has presented papers to numerous NZ and international employment law conferences and, in 1994, lectured at the Royal School for Judges in Cambodia where he also chaired an ILO project for the reform of the labour laws of that country.
Judge Colgan is a member of New Zealand and international organisations including LAWASIA, the Australian Labour Law Association, the NZ Labour Law Society, and the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of NZ, of which he is an Associate Member (AAMINZ). He is a member of the (North American) Association of Workplace Investigators and is the holder of a Training Certificate (AWI-CH) from that body. He is also an active member, and on the organising committee, of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators. He is a member of the NZ Football Appeals Committee and a member of the Editorial Board of, and a regular contributor to, Butterworths (LexisNexis) Employment Law Bulletin.
Kanwaldeep Sandhu, Second Vice-President (Canada)
Simmi (Kanwaldeep) Sandhu is currently the Chair of the Property Assessment Appeal Board of B.C. in Canada. She was appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Board from 2001 to 2015 after which she was appointed as Acting Chair and now Chair and CEO of the Board. She is also Vice Chair of the Surface Rights Board of B.C. In 2018, she was appointed Judge of the United Nations Appeal Tribunal commencing her term in 2019. She received her Bachelor’s of Laws from University of B.C Law School in 1989 and was called to the B.C. Bar in 1990. Her areas of practice included administrative law, civil litigation, corporate/commercial law and real estate transactions. Prior to her appointment to the Board, she had extensive experience in quasi-judicial proceedings, having acted as a chairperson of the Board of Referees (now the Social Security Tribunal of Canada) for over six years. She also has training and experience in conflict resolution and mediation and worked with the Board in developing alternate dispute resolution processes such as Online Dispute Resolution, mediations, med/arbs, and appeal management to resolve its appeals. Simmi is an active volunteer. She is a member of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch)’s Equality and Diversity Committee and past President and Director of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals (BCCAT) She also teaches and has instructed many adjudicators or administrative judges on administrative law, hearing skills and decision writing, including the Benchers of the Law Societies of B.C and Alberta, members of the Civil Resolution Tribunal of B.C., the BC Utilities Commission, etc. As a result of her volunteer work, Simmi was awarded BCCAT’s Award for Exceptional Service to the Administrative Tribunal Community in 2014.
John Raymond Murphy, Judge (South Africa)
Judge Murphy was the ninth President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (January 2018 to December 2018). He is a Judge of the High Court of South Africa (Gauteng Division, Pretoria) and an Acting Judge of Appeal in the Labour Appeal Court of South Africa. He has also served as a Judge in the Labour Court and was South Africa's first Pension Ombudsman (the Pension Funds Adjudicator) between 1997 and 2003. Prior to that Judge Murphy worked as a labour arbitrator and mediator for the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa and also as an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Public Law at the University of the Western Cape. He has served on various statutory bodies, including the Council for Medical Schemes. In 2003-2004 he was the Presiding Judge in the Special Chamber of the Kosovo Supreme Court for Kosovo Trust Related Matters.
Dimitrios Raikos, Judge (Greece)
Judge Raikos was the tenth President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (January 2019 to December 2019). He is currently President of the Administrative Court of Appeal of Patras (Greece) and a permanent Associate Professor of Administrative Law, Administrative Procedural Law and Public Procurement Law at the Law Faculty of Democritus University of Thrace. Judge Raikos has been serving as an administrative Judge since 1985 (first instance Judge from 1985-1996, president of the Administrative Court from 1996-2000, and appellate Judge from 2000 –present). In 2013, Judge Raikos was appointed by the Greek Parliament, for a five-year term, as President of the Independent Authority for Public Procurement of Greece (H.S.P.P.A.), a public body composed of 90 lawyers and other experts, with competence, among others, to review the legality of P.P. contracts throughout Greece, shape and promote the national strategy and fight corruption in the field of Public Procurement. Moreover, he has been a Professor at the National School of Judges in Greece since 2001. He studied law at the Law Faculty of Athens University, held postgraduate studies at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1994, and holds a PhD in Law. His international activities comprise, among others, membership in transnational committees, including the Ad hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the UN Convention against Corruption (2002-2003), and acting as vice-chair of the Association of European Administrative Judges (2006-2008). He was appointed as the national representative for the Octopus Interface 2013, a specialized anti-corruption service of the Council of Europe, and has participated in numerous conferences as a speaker and senior law expert. Judge Raikos has authored several books and numerous publications. His first language is Greek, he is fluent in English, has a working knowledge of German and a basic knowledge of French.
Sabine Knierim, Judge (Germany)
Judge Knierim was the eleventh President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (from 1 January 2020). Judge Knierim is currently a judge of the Administrative Court of Appeal in Hamburg, a post she has held since 2011. Her chamber has jurisdiction over, among other things, civil service law including disciplinary matters, law of citizenship, media and data protection law. From 1994 until 2011 she served as a judge at the Administrative Court of Hamburg dealing mainly with land use planning and construction law. Judge Knierim began her studies of law at the University of Passau (Germany) and continued at the University of Geneva on a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship. In 1990 she completed her German legal studies at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau with the first state diploma. As a Fulbright scholar she went to Tulane Law School (USA) for a graduate programme and focused on constitutional, environmental and natural resources law. She holds a Master of Laws degree with distinction from Tulane University. In 1994 Judge Knierim finished her practical legal education in Hamburg with the second state diploma. Her first language is German. She is fluent in English, has an excellent knowledge of French and a basic knowledge of Spanish.
Jean-François Neven, Judge (Belgium)
Jean-François Neven is currently a researcher and professor at the University of Brussels (ULB) where he teaches labour law and civil service law. He is also a lecturer at the University of Louvain (UCL) where he teaches social security law. He holds a law degree (UCL), a master in social law (ULB) and a PHd in law (University of Namur). He was admitted to the Brussels Bar from 1987 to 2002, where he was practicing mainly labour law and social security law. He was a member of the Belgian Judiciary from 2002 to 2018, first as a judge at the Brussels Labour Court and then at the Brussels Labour Court of appeal, as a judge and then as President of the Chamber. From 2009 to 2014, he was a delegated magistrate at the Belgian Court of Cassation. From 2012 to 2018 he was the President of the Belgian administrative commission for the regulation of the employment relationship, a body competent for the qualification of employment relationships and the question of false self-employed persons. During his career, he has written numerous publications on labour law, EU non-discrimination law, administrative and judicial protection in the field of social rights. He is a member of the editorial board of several legal journals. He is a regular guest at the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier (Germany). French is his mother tongue and he has a good knowledge of English and Dutch.
Judges who served on the Appeals Tribunal
Judge Rose Boyko (Canada)
(1 July 2009 - 15 January 2011)
Judge Kamaljit Singh Garewal (India)
(1 July 2009 - 30 June 2012)
1st Vice President (1 July 2011 - 30 June 2012)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2010 - 30 June 2011)
Judge Mark P. Painter (United States of America)
(1 July 2009 - 30 June 2012)
Judge Jean Courtial (France)
(1 July 2009 - 31 December 2013)
President (1 July 2010 - 30 June 2011)
1st Vice President (1 July 2009 - 30 June 2011)
Inés Weinberg de Roca (Argentina)
(1 July 2009-June 2016)
President (1 July 2009 – 30 June 2010)
1st Vice President (1July 2013-30 June 2014; 1 July 2012-30 June 2013)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2014-30 June 2015)
Sophia Adinyira (Ghana)
(1 July 2009 – 30 June 2016)
President (1 July 2011-30 June 2012)
1st Vice President (1 July 2015-30 June 2016; 1 July 2010-30 June 2011)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2013-30 June 2014; 1 July 2009-30 June 2010)
Luis María Simón (Uruguay)
(1 July 2009 – 30 June 2016)
President (1 July 2012-30 June 2013)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2011-30 June 2012)
Mary Faherty (Ireland)
(28 January 2011-30 June 2016)
President (1 July 2013-30 June 2014)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2012-30 June 2013)
Rosalyn M. Chapman (United States of America)
(July 2012 – November 2017)
President (1 July 2015-30 June 2016)
2nd Vice President (1 July 2016-November 2017)
Judge Richard Lussick (Samoa)
(July 2012 – June 2019)
President (July 2014 – June 2015)
1st Vice President (July 2016 – December 2017)
Judge Deborah Thomas-Felix (Trinidad and Tobago)
(December 2014 - June 2019)
President (July 2016 – December 2017)
2nd Vice President (July 2015 – June 2016)