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021- Effect of Awards of Compensation Made by the United Nations Administrative Tribunal

On 21 December 21st, 1953, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) received from the Secretary-General of the United Nations a request for an advisory opinion on the effects to be accorded to the judgments of the UN’s Administrative Tribunal awarding compensation to eleven officials whose appointments were terminated in 1953.

The question was as follows: “(1) Having regard to the statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal and to any other relevant instruments and to the relevant records, has the General Assembly the right on any grounds to  refuse to give effect to an award of compensation made by that Tribunal in favour of a staff member of the United Nations whose contract of service has been terminated without his assent ? (2) If the answer given by the Court to question (1) is in the affirmative, what are the principal grounds upon which the General Assembly could lawfully exercise such a right ?”

The Court gave its opinion on July 13th 1954 and held that the Assembly did not have the right, for any reason, to refuse to enforce a judgment of the Administrative Tribunal awarding compensation in so far as the Tribunal was an independent and truly judicial body pronouncing final judgments without appeal within the limited scope of its functions and not merely an advisory or subordinate body. Its judgements were therefore binding on the United Nations and consequently on the General Assembly.

Advisory Opinion of 13-07-1954.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.