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Administrative Justice in the UN

Procedural Protections, Gaps and Proposals for Reform

Niamh Kinchin

The UN’s capacity as an administrative decision-maker that affects the rights of individuals is a largely overlooked aspect of its role in international affairs. This book explores the potential for a model of administrative justice that might act as a benchmark to which global decision-makers could develop procedural standards. Applied to the UN’s internal justice, refugee status determination, NGO participation and the Security Council, the global administrative justice model is used to appraise the existing procedural protections within UN administrative decision-making.
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Chapter 4: The Investigations Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services

Niamh Kinchin


The Investigations Division of the Office of the Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is an internal oversight body that investigates allegations of misconduct by UN staff and affiliated personnel, such as UN peacekeepers. Although the OIOS is primarily an investigatory body, it is not excluded from making or contributing to administrative decisions that affect the rights, interests and obligations of individuals, which in this context refer to rights, interests and obligations associated with internal disciplinary matters, but may involve criminal proceedings. The OIOS is a body encumbered with an enormous responsibility to deal with contentious issues that make it a lightning rod for public scrutiny. Although the OIOS has in place systems and practices that support administrative justice, encroachments on its independence, damaging cultural issues surrounding whistleblowing, the imposition of unrealistic standards of proof, the vulnerability of complainants and difficulties associated with the ‘field’ and immunities pose significant challenges.

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