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Insights / News
The case deals not only with the personal consequences of the IMF’s decision for the Applicant, but also with the novel issue of whether a regulatory gap – in this case the lack of formal criteria (being in fact unpublished, undisclosed and rarely applied) – is within the IMFAT’s jurisdiction.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), having been conceived in July 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire, formally came into existence on 27th December 1945 when its first 29 member countries signed its Articles of Agreement. In order to provide its staff members with an independent judicial forum for the resolution of employment disputes, the IMF founded its own Administrative Tribunal, the IMFAT.
The Board of Governors adopted Resolution No. 48-1 on 15th October 1992 adopting the Tribunal’s Statute (entering into force on the same date) which provided for the establishment of the Tribunal. The Statute provided that the Tribunal would only be established once the staff had been notified by the Managing Director that all the members of the Tribunal had been appointed. The Tribunal was thus formally established on 13th January 1994 when its first judges were appointed.
The IMFAT is composed of five judges, all of whom are nationals of difference Bank Member States. The IMFAT is governed by its Statute and follows its own Rules of Procedure. All the IMFAT’s judgments and orders are published on its website. The current IMFAT President is from Chile and Lebanon, and the others judges are from the USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi, and Argentina and Spain.
Almost all International Organisations are subject to the jurisdiction of an international administrative tribunal (IAT) 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 (UNDT) and the UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT); 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.
The International Organisations Law team at Outer Temple, led by John McKendrick QC and Alex Haines, has 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.
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.
Jeremy Scott-Joynt specialises primarily in commercial and regulatory matters, as well as those with an international dimension. He has particular expertise in financial regulation, financial crime and investigations, having served two large international banks in senior anti-corruption, compliance and investigative roles before being admitted to the Bar of England and Wales.
You can find out more about our International Organisations practice on our expertise page.