Granting international organisations jurisdictional immunity
has been a long-standing practice and its purpose is to protect
them from State interference. Nevertheless, where there are employment
disputes, international civil servants are deprived of access to
the national courts. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that
jurisdictional immunity can be waived only if there are no other
“reasonable alternative means” of protecting their rights.
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights points out
that the jurisdictional immunity of international organisations
does not absolve them from all responsibility in the event of violations
of the European Convention on Human Rights. International civil
servants must have the right of access to a tribunal to the same extent
as those subject to national employment law rules.
The committee looks at the structure of the internal justice
systems of certain international organisations and concludes that
the applicability of the Convention remains limited in employment
disputes in the international civil service. It recommends that
the Council of Europe member States bring about greater transparency
of the work of international organisations and ensure that these
organisations introduce mechanisms to protect the rights of staff,
along with procedures for lodging appeals.