UN Tort Law Workshop: ‘UN third party liability practice: Filling Legal Gaps’, 21-22 September 2023
The UN Tort Law Team, led by Prof. Kirsten Schmalenbach, organised a workshop as part of the FWF research project at Paris Lodron University Salzburg on 21 and 22 September 2023.
For some 70 years the United Nations (UN) has conducted peacekeeping missions in some of the world’s most troubled regions. However, attempts to bring peace and security in such fraught environments inevitably causes third-party damage. Providing fair compensation for such damage via transparent means is crucial to maintain the legitimacy and acceptance of UN missions among host populations and, indeed, for observers both great and small around the globe. It is the UN’s internal handling of these tort claims outside of the framework provided by domestic courts that is the exclusive subject of the FWF funded research project “UN Tort Law”. The primary driver for this focus is the fact that the legal basis, standards, and principles applied by the Organisation when settling third party claims have been heavily veiled from public scrutiny by the UN. Past UN claims settlement practice (1950-2000), which was at one point publicly available, is no longer accessible to researchers as the UN reclassified all its archived files on third party claims in 2014, labelling them as strictly confidential without any exceptions.
The aim of this workshop was to discuss in a small group of experts what legal options are available to close the many gaps in United Nations liability law. The topics discussed in the workshop were accordingly: the liability law significance of UN host state law (August Reinisch), the rule of law (Heike Krieger), international human rights (Carla Ferstmann), UN domestic law (Catherine Brölmann), UN practice (Niels Blokker), the practice of other organisations (Jody Prescott), analogy in international law (Markus Kotzur) and procedural law (Thomas Henquet).
ESIL Conference 2023
ESIL Conference 2023
On 31 August 2023, the International Organisations Interest Group held a workshop on "Whataboutism, Reciprocity, Double Standars: Towards a Theory of Fairness in International Organizations" in Aix-en-Provence, France, as part of the annual European Society of International Law (ESIL) Conference. Under the title "The UN talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk: double standard and fairness issue of the UN in processing liability claims", Magdalena Fuchs and Melissa Rudigier (Research assistants of the FWF project UN Tort Law in Peacekeeping Missions) presented reflections on the theory of fairness in the context of the UN’s compensation practice in processing non-contractual claims of third parties. These considerations were presented by Melissa Rudigier during the workshop.
Lecture by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Kirsten Schmalenbach
Innsbruck Dialogue – IGEIR
On 25 March 2021, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Kirsten Schmalenbach gave a lecture at the Innsbrucker Gespräche on European and International Law (IGEIR)