News 11th Jun 2018

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC achieves settlement for UN Whistleblower after 15 year battle

In long running litigation Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC represented the interests of a UN “whistleblower” who demanded a thorough investigation into allegations of rape by a UN staff member of a refugee which took place in the UNHCR mission.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC represented the individual and negotiated the  settlement  of this matter.

The Claimant was a UN employee who was dismissed in alleged “retaliation” when she raised concerns about how senior officials had obstructed an inquiry into the attack. She challenged the dismissal but the UN resisted her claim and forced her into one of the longest cases in the history of the organisation’s internal justice system.

The rape victim, who was working for the agency, had been sacked while the alleged rapist was transferred to a job in a different part of the country. The UN Then terminates the employment of the claimant ,  sacking her by email while on she was on medical leave, recovering from injuries caused in an accident when she was on UN work.

At the original trial in 2013, the tribunal found that her dismissal amounted to retaliation and it ruled that the UN ethics office had failed to protect her when she had done her duty reporting misconduct.

The UNHCR appealed on a technicality and the judgment was overturned in 2014.

Last month, the case returned to the tribunal for trial, but a mutually satisfactory settlement was reached, together with statement from the UN indicating that hindsight lessons could be learnt and that it regretted the effect upon the claimant in terms of both her employment and personal life.

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