(Washington, DC) – On July 9, 2013, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order allowing Eugene Nyambal, a former employee of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the plaintiff in a civil suit against IMF, to challenge the IMF's assertion of an absolute immunity from being sued in a court of law through jurisdictional discovery.
The order represents the second time this year that the immunities of international institutions headquartered in Washington, D.C. have been penetrated. In general, these institutions – the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the IMF, among others – enjoy legal immunity from all judicial proceedings, unless the institution expressly waives this immunity. These immunities not only shield institutions from any challenge or adverse ruling that might result from a legal dispute, they also relieve the institution of the need to defend itself in a court of law or to reveal publicly the nature of the dispute.
Whistleblowers at these institutions claim the immunities are too broad and not only shield the organizations from burdensome lawsuits but also from external oversight. The International Program at GAP shares this view and played a key role in representing Nyambal.
Nyambul's court decision follows an April 5, 2013 decision of the District Court of the District of Columbia that ordered the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the multilateral private sector lending arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to turn over documents to Mr. Jorge Vila, who is suing the institution for unjust enrichment.
Contact: Bea Edwards, GAP Executive & International Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 155
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, GAP Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.