Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Ray Murphy
United Nations Security Council, Force and the Rule of Law, Australia National University Centre for International Governance and Justice and the Australian Government’s Australian Civil-Military Centre, Strengthening the Rule of Law through the United Nations Security Council, New York, 13 -14 June 2013.
‘Accountability and Oversight of UN Actors’
Optional Fields
The major impediment to accountability of members of peace forces remains contributing states and their reluctance to surrender the right to exclusive jurisdiction.  However, problems relating to immunity are not new and it was realized that such arrangements could lead to what the UN Secretary-General referred to as a ‘jurisdictional vacuum’ unless the contributing states ensured that personnel would be prosecuted under the relevant national laws.  There is a lack of transparency under the current system and problems identified in the 1950’s remain.  National practice is inconsistent and it is not possible to obtain reliable information in relation to a number of major Contributing States. The biggest jurisdictional gap exists in respect of civilians, including UN police. The Draft Convention sought to address this. There seems little alternative to the present system whereby the only possibility for the prosecution of UN forces lies in their respective state. The UN has attempted to remedy the jurisdictional gap but these efforts have been largely unsuccessful. No UN mechanism for prosecuting UN forces exists and contributing states are unlikely to agree any proposal for such an arrangement.  The real problem is to ensure that national prosecutions do take place.  There is a need to institutionalize procedures and have an effective monitoring and reporting mechanism for follow up.
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