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Alex Haines and Carin Hunt instructed in World Bank Administrative Tribunal sex discrimination case

Two members of our International Organisations Law Team have been instructed in a case before the World Bank Administrative Tribunal in Washington DC against the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Alex Haines and Carin Hunt have been instructed in a case before the World Bank Group’s Administrative Tribunal (WBAT) involving an allegation of indirect sex discrimination.

The WBAT was established by the Board of Governors of the Bank in 1980. It acts as a judicial forum of last resort for the resolution of cases submitted by World Bank Group staff members alleging non-observance of their contracts of employment or terms of appointment. The WBAT’s decisions are final and binding on the Bank.

The WBAT is composed of seven judges, all of whom are nationals of different Bank Member States. The WBAT is governed by its Statute and follows its own Rules of Procedure. All the WBAT’s judgments and orders are published on its website. The current WBAT President is from Iran, and the others judges are from France, USA, Barbados, Liberia, Canada and Ireland.

Almost all International Organisations are subject to the jurisdiction of an international administrative tribunal (IATs) regarding their institutional matters. IATs generally exist in the realm of the public international law system. Most international organisations have provided for some sort of internal justice mechanism to address institutional disputes resulting in dozens of IATs including the three most established: the WBAT, the United Nations’ two tier system: the UN Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal; and the International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) in Geneva. In the EU, the General Court is the equivalent IAT for disputes arising out of administrative decisions taken by European Institutions. On the African continent, the African Development Bank Administrative Tribunal in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and the African Union’s Administrative Tribunal in Addis Ababa are the most prominent IAT.  

Our International Organisations Law barristers have unrivalled experience in the laws, systems and frameworks of international organisations, having been instructed in cases involving more than 35 international institutions worldwide. Such organisations enjoy a number of privileges and immunities and, as a result, have created internal justice systems that are not bound by domestic jurisdictions.

Most international organisations are created by multilateral treaties concluded between sovereign states and they are, therefore, products of public international law. All cases relating to international organisations require expert lawyers with an understanding of the complex workings of each institution, whether they deal with corruption, regulation, employment rights, whistleblowing or policy making in the context of advocacy, litigation, investigations and advisory work.

Members of the International Organisations Law Team have been instructed before the following international tribunals and bodies:

  • World Bank Administrative Tribunal (Washington DC)
  • United Nations Appeals Tribunal (New York)
  • United Nations Dispute Tribunal (New York)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Administrative Tribunal (London)
  • International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (Geneva)
  • Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (London)
  • Inter-American Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (Washington DC)
  • Black Sea Trade and Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (Thessaloniki)
  • Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (Manila)
  • General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
  • African Union Administrative Tribunal (Addis Ababa)
  • Islamic Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (Jeddah)
  • Pan American Health Organisation Board of Appeal (Washington DC)
  • European Investment Bank Appeals Panel (Luxembourg)
  • International Maritime Organisation Staff Appeals Board (London)

Find out more

Alex Haines is a specialist in international law, with particular expertise in the extensive field of international organisations law. He was appointed as a Sanctions Officer at the Caribbean Development Bank in 2020 and is on the AG’s London B Panel of Counsel to the Crown since 2019. He is admitted to both the New York and Irish Bars in addition to the Bar of England and Wales. 

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886 for a confidential discussion.

Carin Hunt is keenly growing her practice in the field of international organisations law. Her interest in this field developed prior to joining the Bar when she worked as a Consultant at the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal in Jordan, dealing principally with UN employment law, and interned at the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

To find out more, contact Paul Barton on +44 (0)20 7427 4907 or Ben Fitzgerald +44 (0)20 3758 4759 for a confidential discussion.

You can find out more about our International Organisations practice on our expertise page.

News 16 Feb, 2022


Alex Haines

Call: 2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); 2020 (Ireland); and 2024 (District of Columbia)

Carin Hunt

Call: 2018

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