STATUTE OF THE UNITED NATIONS DISPUTE TRIBUNAL

As adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 63/253 on 24 December 2008, amended by resolution 69/203 adopted on 18 December 2014, amended by resolution A/70/112 adopted on 14 December 2015 and amended by resolution 71/266 adopted on 23 December 2016.

Article 1

A tribunal is established by the present statute as the first instance of the two-tier formal system of administration of justice, to be known as the United Nations Dispute Tribunal.

Article 2

1. The Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to hear and pass judgement on an application filed by an individual, as provided for in article 3, paragraph 1, of the present statute, against the Secretary- General as the Chief Administrative Officer of the United Nations:

(a) To appeal an administrative decision that is alleged to be in non-compliance with the terms of appointment or the contract of employment. The terms “contract” and “terms of appointment” include all pertinent regulations and rules and all relevant administrative issuances in force at the time of alleged non- compliance;

(b) To appeal an administrative decision imposing a disciplinary measure;

(c) To enforce the implementation of an agreement reached through mediation pursuant to article 8, paragraph 2, of the present statute.

2. The Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to hear and pass judgement on an application filed by an individual requesting the Dispute Tribunal to suspend, during the pendency of the management evaluation, the implementation of a contested administrative decision that is the subject of an ongoing management evaluation, where the decision appears prima facie to be unlawful, in cases of particular urgency, and where its implementation would cause irreparable damage. The decision of the Dispute Tribunal on such an application shall not be subject to appeal.

3. The Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to permit or deny leave to an application to file a friend-of-the-court brief by a staff association.

4. The Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to permit any individual who is entitled to appeal the same administrative decision under paragraph 1 (a) of the present article to intervene in a matter brought by another staff member under the same paragraph.

5. The Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to hear and pass judgement on an application filed against a specialized agency brought into relationship with the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of Articles 57 and 63 of the Charter of the United Nations or other international organization or entity established by a treaty and participating in the common system of conditions of service, where a special agreement has been concluded between the agency, organization or entity concerned and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to accept the terms of the jurisdiction of the Dispute Tribunal, consonant with the present statute. Such special agreement shall provide that the agency, organization or entity concerned shall be bound by the judgements of the Dispute Tribunal and be responsible for the payment of any compensation awarded by the Dispute Tribunal in respect of its own staff members and shall include, inter alia, provisions concerning its participation in the administrative arrangements for the functioning of the Dispute Tribunal and concerning its sharing of the expenses of the Dispute Tribunal. Such special agreement shall also contain other provisions required for the Dispute Tribunal to carry out its functions vis-à-vis the agency, organization or entity.

6. In the event of a dispute as to whether the Dispute Tribunal has competence under the present statute, the Dispute Tribunal shall decide on the matter.

7. As a transitional measure, the Dispute Tribunal shall be competent to hear and pass judgement on:

(a) A case transferred to it from a joint appeals board or a joint disciplinary committee established by the United Nations, or from another similar body established by a separately administered fund or programme;

(b) A case transferred to it from the United Nations Administrative Tribunal;

as decided by the General Assembly.

Article 3

1. An application under article 2, paragraph 1, of the present statute may be filed by:

(a) Any staff member of the United Nations, including the United Nations Secretariat or separately administered United Nations funds and programmes;

(b) Any former staff member of the United Nations, including the United Nations Secretariat or separately administered United Nations funds and programmes;

(c) Any person making claims in the name of an incapacitated or deceased staff member of the United Nations, including the United Nations Secretariat or separately administered United Nations funds and programmes.

2. A request for a suspension of action under article 2, paragraph 2, of the present statute may be filed by an individual, as provided for in paragraph 1 of the present article.

Article 4

(Amended by resolution 70/112 and by resolution 71/266)

1. The Dispute Tribunal shall be composed of three full-time judges and two half-time judges.

2. The judges shall be appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Internal Justice Council in accordance with Assembly resolution 62/228. No two judges shall be of the same nationality. Due regard shall be given to geographical distribution and gender balance.

3. To be eligible for appointment as a judge, a person shall:

(a)Be of high moral character and impartial; and

(b) Possess at least 10 years of judicial experience in the field of administrative law, or the equivalent within one or more national jurisdictions.

(c) Be fluent, both orally and in writing, in English or French.

4. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal shall be appointed for one non-renewable term of seven years. As a transitional measure, two of the judges (one full-time judge and one half-time judge) initially appointed, to be determined by drawing of lots, shall serve three years and may be reappointed to the same Dispute Tribunal for a further non-renewable term of seven years. A current or former judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal shall not be eligible to serve in the Dispute Tribunal.

5. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal appointed to replace a judge whose term of office has not expired shall hold office for the remainder of his or her predecessor’s term, and may be reappointed for one non-renewable term of seven years, provided that the unexpired term is less than three years.

6. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal shall not be eligible for any appointment within the United Nations, except another judicial post, for a period of five years following his or her term of office.

7. The Dispute Tribunal shall elect a President who shall have the authority, inter alia, to monitor the timely delivery of judgments.

8. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal shall serve in his or her personal capacity and enjoy full independence.

9. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal who has, or appears to have, a conflict of interest shall recuse himself or herself from the case. Where a party requests such recusal, the decision shall be taken by the President of the Dispute Tribunal.

10. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal may only be removed by the General Assembly in case of misconduct or incapacity.

11. A judge of the Dispute Tribunal may resign, by notifying the General Assembly through the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The resignation shall take effect from the date of notification, unless the notice of resignation specifies a later date.

12. The judges of the Dispute Tribunal shall be considered officials other than Secretariat officials under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

Article 5

The three full-time judges of the Dispute Tribunal shall exercise their functions in New York, Geneva and Nairobi, respectively. However, the Dispute Tribunal may decide to hold sessions at other duty stations, as required by its caseload.

Article 6

1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall make the administrative arrangements necessary for the functioning of the Dispute Tribunal, including provisions for the travel and related costs of staff whose physical presence before the Dispute Tribunal is deemed necessary by the Dispute Tribunal and for judges to travel as necessary to hold sessions at other duty stations.

2. The Registries of the Dispute Tribunal shall be established in New York, Geneva and Nairobi, each consisting of a Registrar and such other staff as necessary.

3. The expenses of the Dispute Tribunal shall be borne by the United Nations.

4. Compensation ordered by the Dispute Tribunal shall be paid by the United Nations Secretariat or separately administered United Nations funds and programmes, as applicable and appropriate, or by the specialized agency, organization or entity that has accepted the jurisdiction of the Dispute Tribunal.

Article 7

1. Subject to the provisions of the present statute, the Dispute Tribunal shall establish its own rules of procedure, which shall be subject to approval by the General Assembly.

2. The rules of procedure of the Dispute Tribunal shall include provisions concerning:

(a) Organization of work;

(b) Presentation of submissions and the procedure to be followed in respect thereto;

(c) Procedures for maintaining the confidentiality and inadmissibility of verbal or written statements made during the mediation process;

(d) Intervention by persons not party to the case whose rights may be affected by the judgement;

(e) Oral hearings;

(f) Publication of judgements; (g) Functions of the Registries;

(h) Procedure for summary dismissal;

(i) Evidentiary procedure;

(j) Suspension of implementation of contested administrative decisions;

(k) Procedure for the recusal of judges;

(l) Other matters relating to the functioning of the Dispute Tribunal.

Article 8

1. An application shall be receivable if:

(a) The Dispute Tribunal is competent to hear and pass judgement on the application, pursuant to article 2 of the present statute;

(b) An applicant is eligible to file an application, pursuant to article 3 of the present statute;

(c) An applicant has previously submitted the contested administrative decision for management evaluation, where required; and

(d) The application is filed within the following deadlines:

(i) In cases where a management evaluation of the contested decision is required:

a. Within 90 calendar days of the applicant’s receipt of the response by management to his or her submission; or

b. Within 90 calendar days of the expiry of the relevant response period for the management evaluation if no response to the request was provided. The response period shall be 30 calendar days after the submission of the decision to management evaluation for disputes arising at Headquarters and 45 calendar days for other offices;

(ii) In cases where a management evaluation of the contested decision is not required, within 90 calendar days of the applicant’s receipt of the administrative decision;

(iii) The deadlines provided for in subparagraphs (d) (i) and (ii) of the present paragraph shall be extended to one year if the application is filed by any person making claims in the name of an incapacitated or deceased staff member of the United Nations, including the United Nations Secretariat or separately administered United Nations funds and programmes;

(iv) Where the parties have sought mediation of their dispute within the deadlines for the filing of an application under subparagraph (d) of the present paragraph, but did not reach an agreement, the application is filed within 90 calendar days after the mediation has broken down in accordance with the procedures laid down in the terms of reference of the Mediation Division.

2. An application shall not be receivable if the dispute arising from the contested administrative decision had been resolved by an agreement reached through mediation. However, an applicant may file an application to enforce the implementation of an agreement reached through mediation, which shall be receivable if the agreement has not been implemented and the application is filed within 90 calendar days after the last day for the implementation as specified in the mediation agreement or, when the mediation agreement is silent on the matter, after the thirtieth day from the date of the signing of the agreement.

3. The Dispute Tribunal may decide in writing, upon written request by the applicant, to suspend or waive the deadlines for a limited period of time and only in exceptional cases. The Dispute Tribunal shall not suspend or waive the deadlines for management evaluation.

4. Notwithstanding paragraph 3 of the present article, an application shall not be receivable if it is filed more than three years after the applicant’s receipt of the contested administrative decision.

5. The filing of an application shall not have the effect of suspending the implementation of the contested administrative decision.

6. An application and other submissions shall be filed in any of the official languages of the United Nations.

Article 9

1. The Dispute Tribunal may order production of documents or such other evidence as it deems necessary.

2. The Dispute Tribunal shall decide whether the personal appearance of the applicant or any other person is required at oral proceedings and the appropriate means for satisfying the requirement of personal appearance.

3. The oral proceedings of the Dispute Tribunal shall be held in public unless the Dispute Tribunal decides, at its own initiative or at the request of either party, that exceptional circumstances require the proceedings to be closed.

Article 10

(Amended by resolution 69/203)

1. The Dispute Tribunal may suspend proceedings in a case at the request of the parties for a time to be specified by it in writing.

2. At any time during the proceedings, the Dispute Tribunal may order an interim measure, which is without appeal, to provide temporary relief to either party, where the contested administrative decision appears prima facie to be unlawful, in cases of particular urgency, and where its implementation would cause irreparable damage. This temporary relief may include an order to suspend the implementation of the contested administrative decision, except in cases of appointment, promotion or termination.

3. At any time during the deliberations, the Dispute Tribunal may propose to refer the case to mediation. With the consent of the parties, it shall suspend the proceedings for a time to be specified by it. If a mediation agreement is not reached within this period of time, the Dispute Tribunal shall continue with its proceedings unless the parties request otherwise.

4. Prior to a determination of the merits of a case, should the Dispute Tribunal find that a relevant procedure prescribed in the Staff Regulations and Rules or applicable administrative issuances has not been observed, the Dispute Tribunal may, with the concurrence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, remand the case for institution or correction of the required procedure, which, in any case, should not exceed three months. In such cases, the Dispute Tribunal may order the payment of compensation for procedural delay to the applicant for such loss as may have been caused by such procedural delay, which is not to exceed the equivalent of three months’ net base salary.

5. As part of its judgement, the Dispute Tribunal may only order one or both of the following:

(a) Rescission of the contested administrative decision or specific performance, provided that, where the contested administrative decision concerns appointment, promotion or termination, the Dispute Tribunal shall also set an amount of compensation that the respondent may elect to pay as an alternative to the rescission of the contested administrative decision or specific performance ordered, subject to subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph;

(b) Compensation for harm, supported by evidence, which shall normally not exceed the equivalent of two years’ net base salary of the applicant. The Dispute Tribunal may, however, in exceptional cases order the payment of a higher compensation for harm, supported by evidence, and shall provide the reasons for that decision.

6. Where the Dispute Tribunal determines that a party has manifestly abused the proceedings before it, it may award costs against that party.

7. The Dispute Tribunal shall not award exemplary or punitive damages.

8. The Dispute Tribunal may refer appropriate cases to the Secretary-General of the United Nations or the executive heads of separately administered United Nations funds and programmes for possible action to enforce accountability.

9. Cases before the Dispute Tribunal shall normally be considered by a single judge. However, the President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal may, within seven calendar days of a written request by the President of the Dispute Tribunal, authorize the referral of a case to a panel of three judges of the Dispute Tribunal, when necessary, by reason of the particular complexity or importance of the case. Cases referred to a panel of three judges shall be decided by a majority vote.

Article 11

(Amended by resolution 69/203)

1. The judgements of the Dispute Tribunal shall be issued in writing and shall state the reasons, facts and law on which they are based.

2. The deliberations of the Dispute Tribunal shall be confidential.

3. The judgements and orders of the Dispute Tribunal shall be binding upon the parties, but are subject to appeal in accordance with the statute of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal. In the absence of such appeal, they shall be executable following the expiry of the time provided for appeal in the statute of the Appeals Tribunal. Case management orders or directives shall be executable immediately.

4. The judgements of the Dispute Tribunal shall be drawn up in any of the official languages of the United Nations, in two originals, which shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

5. A copy of the judgement shall be communicated to each party in the case. The applicant shall receive a copy in the language in which the application was submitted unless he or she requests a copy in another official language of the United Nations.

6. The judgements of the Dispute Tribunal shall be published, while protecting personal data, and made generally available by the Registry of the Tribunal.

Article 12

1. Either party may apply to the Dispute Tribunal for a revision of an executable judgement on the basis of the discovery of a decisive fact which was, at the time the judgement was rendered, unknown to the Dispute Tribunal and to the party applying for revision, always provided that such ignorance was not due to negligence. The application must be made within 30 calendar days of the discovery of the fact and within one year of the date of the judgement.

2. Clerical or arithmetical mistakes, or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission, may at any time be corrected by the Dispute Tribunal, either on its own motion or on the application of any of the parties.

3. Either party may apply to the Dispute Tribunal for an interpretation of the meaning or the scope of the final judgement, provided that it is not under consideration by the Appeals Tribunal.

4. Once a judgement is executable under article 11, paragraph 3, of the present statute, either party may apply to the Dispute Tribunal for an order for execution of the judgement if the judgement requires execution within a certain period of time and such execution has not been carried out.

Article 13

The present statute may be amended by decision of the General Assembly.