Reparations for the wrongs of international organisations: Why the legal black hole is a problem and where the solutions may lie

Structures for the accountability of international organisations have not kept pace with the continual widening of their functions. The result is that international organisations with a mandate to protect vulnerable populations are increasingly being accused of causing serious harm, at times breaching individuals' human rights. The antiquated structures put in place to protect international organisations' independence from states are now shielding the very same organisations from the claims of those they are mandated to protect. The problem is further entrenched by a system of immunities and lack of standing that insulates organisations from the scrutiny of courts and prevents injured individuals from countering organisations' self-serving assessments of the law and most certainly prevents them from accessing justice. The author will discuss the recent intervention made by European law scholars and practitioners (of which she took part) in the case of Georges et al v the UN, concerning the cholera epidemic in Haiti, currently before the district court in the Southern District of New York.