The immunity of international organizations in labour disputes. developments before international tribunals, national courts and the colombian jurisdiction

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The article aims to analyze and explain the recent developments and challenges regarding the jurisdictional immunity of international organizations in labour disputes, both by international and national courts, concluding with remarks on the experience of the Colombian case law in the matter. The article uses both case-law review and comparative law methodologies to first explain the main differences between diplomatic immunity and the immunity of international organizations regarding labour disputes, then, it describes the current legal trends regarding the applicable law to labour relations between international organizations and individuals, and the challenges to the immunity of the organization when disputes arise. The article develops the modern trend of requiring the organization to activate internal dispute resolution mechanisms to uphold its immunity before national courts. The article argues that there is an incomplete reception of the principles governing the immunity of international organizations by recent Colombian case law and that frequently, constitutional judges confuse the sources that regulate diplomatic immunity with the sources that regulate the immunity of international organizations. The article concludes that although international case law over the past decade widely recognizes functional immunity and jurisdictional immunity as the governing law in international organizations, it is still a controversial topic that has demanded fast developments regarding the applicable law, the differences with diplomatic immunity as understood by local authorities (expanding on the example of Colombia) and the design of innovative dispute resolution mechanisms within international organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-161
Number of pages25
JournalBrazilian Journal of International Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

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