This article analyses the notion and role of fairness in the procedural rules and practice of international administrative tribunals. After reviewing decisions of international administrative tribunals dealing with the notion of fairness, it shows that tribunals rely on the concept of fairness to limit discretion of decision-makers, to fill gaps in law and to override written law to ensure fairness. The article makes suggestions as to how to reconcile the different visions and roles of fairness in international administrative law. It argues that with the further development of international administrative law, tribunals should as much as possible rely on rules and principles formulated by external bodies rather than on their personal understanding of fairness.
Judgment3264ilo Administrative Tribunal 2014 ilo Administrative Tribunal Judgment 2873 108th Session 2010 Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
Kryvoisupra note 4 at 268.
Judgment No.1365United Nations Administrative Tribunal 6 February 2008 (“As the Joint Appeals Board declared this irregularity to be a violation of the principles of equity and fairness the Tribunal considers that the $500 recommended by the Board and accepted by the Secretary-General to be clearly inappropriate in light of the gravity of the flaw which was neither more nor less than age discrimination. ”); Advisory Opinion Judgments of the Administrative Tribunal of the i.l.o. upon Complaints Made against unesco (i.c.j. Reports 1956 at p. 100) (citing Corfu Channel case Judgment of December 15th 1949 i.c.j. Reports 1949 p. 249).