Monday, April 12, 2010

UN Secretary-General Appeals an Order that Required Him to Provide an Investigative Report to a Whistleblower

The UN Secretary-General is appealing an order by United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) Judge Michael Adams that requires him to provide a whistleblower with a copy of the investigative report about his retaliation claim.

Here’s the kicker: it’s not clear that management even has the right to appeal such orders. Indeed, the UNDT statutes strongly suggest that orders cannot be appealed as outlined in a previous decision by Judge Adams. But that isn’t stopping UN management from doing everything in its power to keep an investigative report secret, deny a whistleblower due process and delay UNDT from issuing a final ruling. In the process, the Secretary-General is undermining the authority of the UNDT and the new UN justice system.

Fortunately, Judge Adams is not backing down, as demonstrated by his most recent order. The impetus behind this order was the Secretary-General’s request for a stay of the previous orders in the Wasserstrom case and an adjournment of the proceedings, pending the determination of the UN Appeals Tribunal’s decision on his appeal. In response, the applicant’s counsel claimed that the Secretary-General “is guilty of contempt” and “should not be able to seek orders in effect relieving it of its obligation” to produce documents.

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