UN Refuses Summons in Bertucci Case, of Contempt and Rule of Law
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 11 -- After UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has taken
credit for the UN's new internal justice system, his administration
has begun refusing to comply with and reflexively appealing orders,
show as one judge puts it "contempt."
longstanding Bertucci v. United
Nations case comes to a head, Judge
Adams ruled that the UN
ordered within twenty-four hours to supply the name and contact
details of the officer who made the decision to disobey theorder made
by the Tribunal to produce the documents identified in the Tribunal's
ruling in Bertucci."
March 9 he
ordered that the UN official who ordered non-compliance with a
previous order of his in the case should appear before him at 10 a.m.
on March 10.
before that, the Secretary General's representative informed Judge
Adams that the summoned official would not, in fact, appear. As
reflected by the order
just issued, further inquiry by Judge Adams led
to the conclusion that the UN's lawyer before him either did not or
could not find out who the official was, after asking the "bosses."
UN's Ban and his lawyer Patricia O'Brien: neither
Judge Adams' order
refusal to obey the Tribunal's Order is a brazen attack upon the rule
of law embodied in the Tribunal and cannot be disregarded. In other
jurisdictions, serious personal penalties would apply to officials
who willfully disobeyed the order of a court. That sanction is not.
available to the Tribunal except through misconduct proceedings. It
follows therefore that the Tribunal must use other means of enforcing
the jurisdiction which has been entrusted to it by the General
Assembly under the Charter and pursuant to its Statute."
Inner City Press
previously exclusively reported, the Ban Ki-moon administration also
refused to produce Under Secretary General Shaaban Shaaban when
summoned by Judge Adams. When Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
about the case, the response was that the orders would be appealed,
and that no basis for appeal needed to be states. And this is the
rule of law?
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Justice In Disarray as USG Shaaban Refuses to Appear, Ban Ki-moon Will
Order Urging Review
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 23 -- The UN's new justice system is already frayed
and exposed, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reflexively appeals
from orders urging him to review the actions of his Under Secretary
General Shaaban Shaaban.
Inner City Press reported
on and asked about a UN Dispute Tribunal
decision which slammed Shaaban Shaaban and questioned whether he
should be ordered to pay $20,000 damages personally. When asked, Mr.
Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Ban would appeal. When
Inner City Press asked "appeal what" and "appeal on
what basis," Nesirky said that needn't be answered.
has issued a second order,
after Shaaban Shaaban refused to appear at
his February 3 hearing. Adams writes that "the interests of the
Secretary-General as chief executive officer of the Organization
plainly conflicted with those of Mr Shaaban. It seems to me
self-evident that it was inappropriate for a lawyer from the Office
of Legal Affairs to advise Mr Shaaban about what he ought to do in
order to avoid the step that triggered the Secretary-General's duty."
UN's Ban and his USGs (Shaaban 2d from left),
conflicts of interests not shown
so at the
February 23 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Mr. Nesirky:
City Press: in this case it is the Shaaban Shaaban case, Abboud v.
Secretary-General. I understand yesterday, earlier you’d said an
earlier ruling was going to be appealed. Maybe you could say if it’s
been appealed, but yesterday Judge Adams ruled saying that the
respondent, i.e. the Secretary-General, is to appoint an official of
at least the rank of Under-Secretary-General other than Mr. Shaaban
to consider afresh the complaints of the applicant. And what I am
wondering is that, is this something that the Secretary-General is
going to do, even pending appeal of I guess the findings against Mr.
Shaaban. This seems like… This is the judge yesterday has asked
and he talked about “as a matter of courtesy”. Is this also
going to be appealed, so that no one other than Mr. Shaaban will
consider the applicant’s case?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I am sure I can find out. All
right, other questions? No?
Spokesperson later reiterated that the Organization has determined
that an appeal of the Abboud judgment would be appropriate and would
Adams' second decision, which Inner City Press is putting online here,
it is difficult not to conclude that Ban Ki-moon is undermining the
justice system he claimed was an improvement. We will contineu to
follow this case.
Footnote: at a
recent UNDP hearing, counsel joked that Adams may in fact stay on past
June, given the backlog of cases. There is talk of building a new UN
court room in the so called Teachers' (TIA-CREF) building on Third
Avenue, where the UNDP will rent space. But as set forth above, the
"new" system appears broken.
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