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Can international and multilateral institutions such as the IMF be punished for any wrongdoing? I am wondering if international law has any power over institutions such as the IMF. Let's say that some leaked documents show that the IMF took the decision to worsen the economic situation of a country because of some moneyed interest. In such a situation, is there any legal framework that would allow the victimized countries to seek monetary compensation?

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  • Are you talking about the imf as a whole or the people who commited the acts?
    – Joe W
    May 29 at 16:14
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    Recall that "International Law" is really a set of agreements between sovereign states. There isn't a world government that enforces it.
    – James K
    May 29 at 17:41
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Can international and multilateral institutions such as the IMF be punished for any wrongdoing?

Generally, no. In the case of the IMF, the agreement provides for "immunity from every form of judicial process." Other international agreements have similar provisions.

Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund, March 2020

Article IX: Status, Immunities, and Privileges

Section 3. Immunity from judicial process

The Fund, its property and its assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that it expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract.

Immunity applies generally to officers and employees, as well.

Section 8. Immunities and privileges of officers and employees

All Governors, Executive Directors, Alternates, members of committees, representatives appointed under Article XII, Section 3(j), advisors of any of the foregoing persons, officers, and employees of the Fund:

(i) shall be immune from legal process with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity except when the Fund waives this immunity;

(ii) not being local nationals, shall be granted the same immunities from immigration restrictions, alien registration requirements, and national service obligations and the same facilities as regards exchange restrictions as are accorded by members to the representatives, officials, and employees of comparable rank of other members; and

(iii) shall be granted the same treatment in respect of traveling facilities as is accorded by members to representatives, officials, and employees of comparable rank of other members.

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