Dame X v Conseil d'Etat du Canton de Genve

CourtFederal Tribunal (Switzerland)
Switzerland, Federal Tribunal.
Dame X
Conseil d'Etat du Canton de Geneve

International organizations Officials Immunity Scope Whether officials liable to expulsion from receiving State Officials not assimilated to diplomatic agents Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946, Article V, Sections 15 and 16 Immunity limited to acts performed in an official capacity Exemption from immigration restrictions and alien registration Whether including immunity from expulsion

Aliens Expulsion Officials of international organizations International officials not assimilated to diplomatic agents Whether subject to expulsion in absence of express treaty provisions to the contrary Inherent power of receiving State to secure order in its territory The law of Switzerland

Summary: The facts:The appellant, a foreign national, worked as a secretary for one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations in Geneva. She was expelled from Switzerland by the Geneva authorities in 1986 on the ground that she had shown an inability to adapt to the Swiss legal order, thereby violating the Federal aliens law. She lodged an administrative law appeal before the Federal Tribunal.

Held:The appeal was dismissed.

(1) The appellant was in the category of officials of the United Nations who were not assimilated to diplomatic agents. Accordingly her status was governed by Article V, Section 15, of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 1946. Consequently she could not invoke jurisdictional immunity where, as here, the proceedings did not relate to acts performed in her official capacity. While Section 15 (d) of the Agreement granted exemption from immigration restrictions and alien registration, it could not be deduced from these exemptions that United Nations officials could not be expelled from the receiving State.

(2) Certain headquarters agreements made the expulsion of international officials subject to a special procedure requiring ministerial consent and consultation with the organization concerned. But where an agreement did not contain such a provision, it must be concluded that it was intended that the international officials concerned were to be subject to the ordinary law, at least where they were not assimilated to diplomatic agents. It was generally accepted that the receiving State retained the power to secure order on its territory, in the absence of an express treaty derogation.

A statement of the facts as...

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