Where can I find information about the UN Staff Regulations and Rules?
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018     Views: 9694

The Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations have evolved over time. 

The current Staff Rules and Staff Regulations of the United Nations are found in ST/SGB/2018/1. The latest version of the Staff Regulations and Rules indicates the version it supersedes. Use this information to work back in time to identify the earlier versions.

Article 101 of the Charter concerns staff regulations. Commentaries on the Charter and the Repertory of Practice are useful in research on this topic. 

The Human Resources Handbook provides access to many of the current administrative documents of the United Nations.

Changes to the Staff Regulations and Rules may have been influenced by things such as:

  • geopolitical context
  • evolution of labour standards
  • decisions of the UN administrative tribunals
  • advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice
  • events in the Secretariat
  • discussions in inter-agency cooperation bodies and the ICSC
  • legal opinions of the UN Legal Counsel
  • discussions in the General Assembly, especially 5th and 6th Committees

In general, discussion of the administrative aspects of the Organization are considered in the General Assembly, usually in:

  • 5th Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)
  • Related legal matters may be considered in the 6th Committee

To find relevant documentation, consult the UN Yearbook and the Indexes to the Proceedings of the General Assembly for citation to resolutions, meeting records and reports of the bodies concerned.

The Secretary-General reports to the General Assembly any changes to the Staff Rules.

The Office of Administration of Justice provides access to current and past jurisprudence. 

Inter-agency coordination on rules and regulations may be considered by the International Civil Service Commission and the UN System Chief Executives Board (previously the Administrative Committee on Coordination). 

ICJ Advisory Opinions on administrative topics: 

1948: Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations

1954: Effect of Awards of Compensation Made by the United Nations Administrative Tribunal

1955: Judgments of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO upon Complaints Made against Unesco

1972: Application for Review of Judgment No. 158 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal

1981: Application for Review of Judgment No. 273 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal

1984: Application for Review of Judgment No. 333 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal

2010: Judgment No.2867 of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization upon a Complaint Filed against the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Request for Advisory Opinion)

Selected legal opinions are published in the United Nations Juridical Yearbook, chapter VI. 

Research on the Staff Regulations and Rules can be quite complex and time intensive. Consult with a librarian for additional guidance.

Secondary sources such as books and articles on administrative law and the law of international institutions may provide historical context and citation to relevant documentation. Some titles include:

  • The Law of the International Civil Service, by C. F. Amerasinghe 
  • International institutional law : unity within diversity, by Henry G. Schermers & Niels M. Blokker


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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