Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) are a partnership of Haitian and US human rights advocates.

“We support the Haitian people in their struggle to achieve universal human rights, access to a just legal system, social justice, a society without violence, and the right to participate fully in choosing their government. Using models like the US civil rights movement, we are active in the courts, both in Haiti and internationally, in the streets and in poor neighborhoods. We work in partnership with grassroots movements, to transform the structural injustices that stand in the way of stability and prosperity for the majority of Haitians.”

The institute provided counsel for plaintiffs in the Georges v. UN, Haiti Cholera case.

In October 2010, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)  introduced a cholera epidemic that has infected hundreds of thousands (approximately 7% of the population) and killed over 8,600 Haitians. A study from Yale  found that the Haiti Cholera outbreak could have easily been prevented.

On March 1, 2016, oral arguments were heard before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the 2010 Cholera outbreak.

The case was dismissed on January 9, 2015. The court holding that the United Nations, MINUSTAH, Ban Ki-moon, and Edmond Mulet were absolutely immune from suit in that Court. Plaintiffs’ claims against these defendants are were DISMISSED under Rule 12(h)(3) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs’ motion for affirmation that service has been made, or, in the alternative, for service of process by alternative means was DENIED as moot.

The Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, beginning the appeals process on February 12, 2015 and filing a principal appellate brief on May 27, 2015. On June 3, 2015, 86 amici filed six briefs in support of Plaintiffs. On August 26, 2015, the United States filed an amicus brief in support of affirmance of UN immunity. On September 25, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a reply brief. On March 1, 2016, the oral arguments were heard before Hon. Judge Cabranes, Judge Parker, and Judge Lynch.

IJDH is now awaiting the judges’ decision.