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Cablegate: Un System of Internal Justice

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSW #0247 1441717
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231717Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5074
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0209

UNCLAS BERN 000247

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/MPR (B.HACKETT) AND EUR/AGS (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC UNGA PREL UNGA UNGA SZ
SUBJECT: UN SYSTEM OF INTERNAL JUSTICE

REF: STATE 51372

1. (U) Contains Action Request; please see para 3.

2. (SBU) Poloff emphasized the message in reftel in a May 21
meeting with MFA Deputy UN Affairs Coordinator Frank Gruetter
and MFA Deputy Legal Advisor for Development of International
Law Joerg Lindenmann. Gruetter, who recently returned from
the Swiss Mission to the UN in New York, carefully considered
the arguments in the reftel non-paper, but noted that he
could only provide preliminary feedback. He responded that
Switzerland also is concerned about the potential scope and
costs of the proposed reforms. He said the GOS therefore
will seek to balance this concern with its objective of
opening up more opportunities for other categories of
personnel "to be heard," to ensure that the UN has "an
internal justice system worthy of the name." Both Gruetter
and Lindenmann acknowledged that reaching agreement on UN
internal justice system reforms by January 1, 2009 was
unlikely. Gruetter suggested that it would nevertheless be
useful on that date to be able to point to an ongoing
discussion process that is working toward resolution of the
internal justice issue.

3. (SBU) Gruetter said that the GOS is more open to allowing
the UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) to develop new facts,
especially if it is clear that the UN Dispute Tribunal (UNDT)
has acted arbitrarily. Lindenmann said that, in his reading
of the USG's non-paper, it was not clear how the UNAT would
develop new facts "on the basis of the written record
developed by the lower court," in cases in which the UNDT
judge's factual findings "are clearly erroneous." Action
Request: Post would appreciate guidance to assist us in
clarifying this point for the Swiss MFA.

4. (SBU) Gruetter said that the GOS is more open to allowing
the UNDT judges the discretion to refer difficult cases to a
panel of three UNDT judges. He commented that the GOS sees
some linkage between this issue and the ultimate scope of the
role of the UNAT in reviewing cases.
CONEWAY

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