Chapter

Administrative Impartiality as Fairness: The UN Secretary-General’s Good Offices and Other ‘Third Party’ Functions<sup>1</sup>

Thomas M. Franck

in Fairness in International Law and Institutions

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198267850
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683398 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267850.003.0006
Administrative Impartiality as Fairness: The UN Secretary-General’s Good Offices and Other ‘Third Party’ Functions1

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Both the legitimacy and the justice — that is, the perceived fairness — of a rule derives in part from its text, in part from outcomes, and in part from the manifest process determinacy by which the rule is made and implemented. Process determinacy means the institutional method for applying rules which, when it is seen to be principled and impartial, increases public confidence in the fairness of the norms being interpreted and applied. The past few decades have seen a radical reconfiguration of international processes. For most of the 20th century, the international lawyer knew of only three ways to settle a dispute: war, diplomacy, and (on rare occasions) litigation. This chapter examines one of the salient new tools of conflict resolution: the ‘good offices’ function of the United Nations Secretary-General. It cites some recent examples of ‘good offices’ in countries such as Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan, Namibia, Cambodia, Central America, and Yugoslavia.

Keywords: Iran; good offices; legitimacy; justice; fairness; process determinacy; diplomacy; conflict resolution; Yugoslavia; Afghanistan

Chapter.  20264 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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