Case to Watch: LaVenture v. United Nations

Signing of the Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident … Letters Blogatory wishes readers a happy Independence Day!

At Opinio Juris, Kristen Boon reports on LaVenture v. United Nations, another Haiti cholera case, similar to the Georges v. United Nations case I’ve written about before. If you recall, in Georges, the plaintiffs’ main argument for avoiding the rule of immunity in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations was that the UN hadn’t satisfied its obligation under the Convention to create a dispute resolution mechanism for the plaintiffs, and thus that it couldn’t take advantage of the immunity provided under the Convention. The Second Circuit rejected this argument.

After the Second Circuit’s decision, the District Court asked the plaintiffs in LaVenture, a highly similar case, to show cause why their claim should not be dismissed. They point primarily to a 1997 report of the Secretary-General on UN liability for third-party injuries in peacekeeping situations and to a 1998 Resolution of the General Assembly that endorses or adopts the Secretary-General’s views as evidence the UN has expressly waived its immunity. But the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (art. II, § 2) expressly provides that immunity exists “except insofar as in any particular case it has expressly waived its immunity.” In light of this language, which (Kristen points out) has been construed to require a waiver for the particular case in question, not a blanket waiver, the plaintiffs’ argument seems highly unlikely to succeed. I’ll keep an eye on this one.

One response to “Case to Watch: LaVenture v. United Nations”

  1. […] case of the day is Laventure v. United Nations (E.D.N.Y. 2017). I noted the case back in July. It’s a follow-on to Georges v. United Nations, the Second Circuit case […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you for commenting! By submitting a comment, you agree that we can retain your name, your email address, your IP address, and the text of your comment, in order to publish your name and comment on Letters Blogatory, to allow our antispam software to operate, and to ensure compliance with our rules against impersonating other commenters.