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7 Immunity, 7.8 Western European Union v Siedler, Belgian Court of Cassation, 21 December 2009

Pierre Schmitt

From: Judicial Decisions on the Law of International Organizations

Edited By: Cedric Ryngaert, Ige F Dekker, Ramses A Wessel, Jan Wouters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 June 2023

Human rights remedies — Immunity from jurisdiction — Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Responsibility of international organizations — Judgments

In this decision, the Belgian Court of Cassation adopted a far-reaching interpretation of the Waite and Kennedy jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and its ‘reasonable alternative means’ test to assess if the immunity of an international organization was permissible with regard to the protection of ECHR rights. Not only did the Court of Cassation verify the existence of an internal dispute-settlement mechanism within the WEU—the internal appeals commission—but it also examined its quality with regard to fair trail requirements. Pursuant this check, the Court considered that the commission was not sufficiently independent and consequently rejected the immunity of the organization. Moreover, the Court ruled that, in case of rejection of immunity, the internal law of the organization was to be applied to the dispute, as opposed to domestic law.

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