ADR in a Multicultural Political Setting - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 54, No. 4
C. Stephen Baldwin
The author, a graduate of Amherst College and Yale Law School, is an arbitrator and mediator of commercial, international, and employment disputes. He spent 21 years with the United Nations addressing a wide range of international issues. Since leaving the U.N., he continues to serve as chairman of their Joint Appeals Board (JAB) panel.
In this article, Stephen Baldwin focuses on the “internal law” system of the United Nations and, specifically, on the workings of the U.N. Administrative Law Unit (ALU) and the Joint Appeals Board (JAB). Baldwin’s analysis of these dispute resolution bodies encompasses a number of aspects, from the procedural to the political and highlights how the U.N.’s “extraordinary diversity” imposes unique challenges on its dispute resolution process.
Most current discussion of the United Nations as an institution tends to focus on extremes. What we might call “youthful idealism” views occupy one end of the continuum and are colored by the Charter’s ringing preamble and text and, perhaps, distant high-school class visits to the East River’s soaring monolith. On the other extreme is the cynical western press text: that the U.N. is at best confused and weak, at worst venal, sinister, and darkly undemocratic.