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Haiti - Cholera : Last lawsuit against the UN rejected
26/08/2017 08:30:49

Haiti - Cholera : Last lawsuit against the UN rejected
On Thursday, the latest lawsuit against the United Nations over the cholera epidemic in Haiti was rejected by a federal judge, who confirmed the organization's assertion of diplomatic immunity.

In an order filed in the Brooklyn District District Court, Justice Sandra L. Townes stated that the Brooklyn trial, which accused the United Nations of responsibility because the cholera was introduced into Haiti by UUnited Nations peacekeepers from Nepal seven years ago, had been dismissed for "lack of subject-matter jurisdiction".

Let's recall that over a year ago, a federal court of appeal in New York rejected the only other class-action lawsuit seeking compensation for Haitians from the United Nations over the cholera epidemic. That ruling also held that the United Nations could not be sued in United States courts.

The dismissal of the Brooklyn case appeared to dash any hope by Haitian victims of the epidemic for financial compensation from the United Nations in an American court judgment.

The lead attorney for Haitian James F. Haggerty, expressed disappointment for the referral but said he was "certainly likely" he would appeal "We firmly believe the U.S. legal system eventually bends toward justice," declared Mr. Haggerty.

United Nations officials did not comment on the reference. But they had previously expressed their confidence in the argument that immunity would prevail. Under the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the organization is entitled to immunity from every form of legal process" except when it has "expressly waived its immunity".

Mr. Haggerty unsuccessfully argued that the United Nations had already recognized the responsibility for negligence through its peacekeeping operations, which he said was a waiver of immunity in the cholera disaster http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-18376-haiti-cholera-the-untouchable-un-recognizes-its-moral-responsibility.html

The dismissal of the Brooklyn lawsuit "puts the onus back on the U.N. to decide whether it stands for impunity or accountability," declared Beatrice Lindstrom, a lawyer at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, adding "The U.N. pledged to provide justice out of court, but in a year has done nothing but put in place a near-empty trust fund http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-20204-haiti-cholera-funding-failure-for-the-$400m-un-funds.html "Until Guterres delivers on the promises made to Haiti [...] victims will have to keep fighting and the U.N.’s moral standing will continue to plummet."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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