UN Tort Law for Peacekeeping Missions

The United Nations (UN) is currently conducting thirteen peacekeeping missions of varying sizes, level of armament and robustness in Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur, to name but a few. These peacekeeping missions expose the UN’s uniformed and civilian personnel to service-related risk that may result in death, illness, injury and loss.
However, it is not only the UN’s own personnel that can be affected by such tragedies, as the local populations in the various regions where peacekeepers operate are also subject to such risks. A considerable number of these tortious acts is attributable to the respective peacekeeping mission and, ultimately, to the UN. It is the UN’s internal handling of these third-party tort claims, outside of domestic court systems and shielded from the public eye, that is the exclusive subject of this project. The aim related to this is to identify and contextualize the rules the UN applies when dealing with torts and remedies for affected third parties.

This project will meaningfully advance the current state of the art in several respects: first, by increasing our understanding of the procedures of UN local claims review boards when dealing with third-party claims in situ; second, by shedding light on the substantive rules applied by such boards to individual claims before submitting to the injured party a proposal for amicable settlement. Finally, this project could have wider implications by potentially influencing the claims settlement practices of other international organizations with military missions under their operational command (eg NATO, ECOWAS, African Union).