The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presided over the swearing-in of Judge Deborah Thomas-Felix (Trinidad and Tobago) as a judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal in a ceremony held on1 Feb. 17, 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York. Judge Thomas-Felix was elected by the General Assembly as a Judge of the Appeals Tribunal of the United Nations (Appeals Tribunal) in December 2014 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Judge Jean Courtial (France).
Judge Thomas-Felix is the president of the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago, a position she has held since 2011. She has also served as the first president of the Family Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission.
The secretary-general thanked Judge Thomas-Felix for accepting this important function within the system of administration of justice at the United Nations. He reiterated his continued support and that of his senior managers for the work of the Appeals Tribunal and the internal justice system in ensuring respect for the rights and obligations of staff members and the accountability of managers and staff alike. The secretary-general observed that since the establishment of the current system of internal justice at the United Nations nearly six years ago, “this system of administration of justice has accomplished much, as has the Appeals Tribunal. This reflects the dedication and hard work of the judges.”
The Appeals Tribunal is an appellate tribunal established by the General Assembly to review appeals against judgments rendered by the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. It also hears and passes judgment on appeals from decisions taken by the Standing Committee acting on behalf of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board and by those agencies and entities that have accepted jurisdiction of the Appeals Tribunal. Their judgments are final and binding on the parties. The judgments of the Appeals Tribunal are available on its official website: www.un.org/
The Appeals Tribunal comprises seven judges. In addition to Judge Thomas-Felix, the judges are Richard Lussick (Samoa, president), Rosalyn Chapman (United States of America, first vice-president), Inés Weinberg de Roca (Argentina, second vice-president), Sophia Adinyira (Ghana), Luis María Simón (Uruguay) and Mary Faherty (Ireland).