The Iraq Claims Tribunal: An Overview of the U.N. Compensation Commission - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 54, No. 2
William E. Huth
The author is a partner with Huth & Grinnell, LLC in Stamford, Conn. He represents corporate claimants in several countries with claims pending before the UNCC, and chairs the U.S. Corporate Claimants Iraq Claims Committee. He is on the AAA’s commercial and international arbitrator rosters and is a member of its Corporate Counsel Committee.
The United Nations Compensation Commission was created in 1991 to settle claims arising out of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War. William Huth provides a thorough examination of the UNCC’s approach to the resolution of such claims and explains how this tribunal constitutes an important template for the disposition of future commercial disputes arising out of international conflict.
The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) created by the U.N. Security Council to settle claims arising out of the Gulf War is an important international claims tribunal by any measure.1
Since its establishment in May 1991,2 the UNCC, located in Geneva, Switzerland, has had an excellent track record in terms of organization, efficiency, and the application of sophisticated modern techniques for assessing and adjudicating mass claims of individuals. Reporting to the Security Council, a political arm of the United Nations, and not an arm of the International Court of Justice, the UNCC considers itself primarily a fact-finding body, although it has had to decide significant legal issues when assessing claims pending before it. This nonpolitical undertaking was different from what has been expected previously of the Security Council.3 The UNCC’s Governing Council has the same membership as the Security Council, and in part for this reason, the commission has not been totally apolitical.