Abuses of legal immunity of intergovernmental organizations


According to most existing texts (conventions on privileges and immunities, headquarters agreements, and the like), intergovernmental organizations cannot be judged by any court of ordinary law unless they expressly waive that privilege. Even if they do so, their waiver cannot be extended to measures of execution. Complaints against intergovernmental organizations have therefore been dismissed by courts leaving complainants with no means of seeking redress.


An example of non-resolution of disputes includes the decision of the New York County Supreme Court in the Matter of Menon. The estranged wife of a non-resident United Nations employee was challenging the refusal of family court judges to order the UN to show cause why her husband's salary should not be sequestered to provide support for herself and her minor child. The application was dismissed because the law specifically exempted a sovereign body from the jurisdiction of the USA courts, unless the sovereign consented to submit itself.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST