[JURIST] The UN on Monday appointed [UN press release release] five new judges to serve on the UN Dispute Tribunal, and seven new judges, including one American, to the UN Appeals Tribunal. The tribunals were authorized in 2007, pursuant to UN General Assembly resolution 62/228 [text, PDF], and the appeals tribunal is charged with appellate review of grievance and discipline disputes between UN members heard in the dispute tribunal. The American judge, Mark Painter [official website], is a member of the Hamilton County Court of Appeals [court website] in Cincinnati, Ohio. Painter is one of three of the chosen judges who will serve an initial three-year term on the tribunal. At the conclusion of the three-year term, each of those three judges may apply for a non-renewable, seven-year term. The other four appointed judges will each sit on the tribunal for a single seven-year, non-renewable term. The UN anticipates that both the Dispute and Appeals Tribunals will be operational as of July 1, 2009.
The UN Internal Justice Council (IJC) [UN background] was responsible for advising the General Assembly on appropriate judges for the two tribunals. The IJC was formed in 2007 following an independent review [UN release] of UN internal justice procedures. The two-tiered tribunal system was also one of the suggestions put forth by the independent "Redesign Panel," convened in 2006 at the behest of the General Assembly, after then-Secretary General Kofi Annan called [UN report] the UN's internal justice system, "slow and cumbersome."