23 March 2010
The World Bank
Washington, DC

On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment, the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, in conjunction with the American Society of International Law, held a symposium on 23 March 2010.

The Tribunal’s anniversary served as an opportune juncture to reflect on the development of international administrative law as a distinct and effective part of the law of international organizations. Commencing proceedings, Judge Robert A. Gorman, former President, founding member and longest-serving judge in the history of the Tribunal, delivered a keynote address on the significance for international administrative law of the Tribunal’s first judgment, de Merode et al v International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1981). This was followed by an expert commentary on the role of international tribunals in the development of international administrative law as a body of law. Thereafter a panel of experts discussed the effect of tribunal judgments in the development of the internal laws and procedures of their respective international organizations. In the context of assessing the state of international administrative law and its prospects, a panel addressed broader issues of legitimacy and effectiveness. A further panel examined the nature and design of the institutions and organs responsible for international administrative law in various organisations, a timely question following the establishment of a two-tier tribunal system by the United Nations in July 2009.

The symposium was attended by judges and officials of administrative tribunals, legal advisers to international organizations and other experts. Opening remarks were made by Jan Paulsson, President of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal; David Caron, President-elect of the American Society of International Law; David Hawkes, First Vice Chair, Executive Committee of the World Bank Group Staff Association; Anne-Marie Leroy, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, World Bank Group and former President of the Inter-American Development Bank Administrative Tribunal; and Graeme Wheeler, Managing Director, World Bank.

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