Judgment No. 1547
1. The President's decision of 11 October 1994 is set aside.
2. The EPO shall pay each complainant 500 German marks in moral damages.
3. It shall pay each complainant a further 500 marks in costs.
4. Their other claims are dismissed.
"Precedent has it that an organisation has some latitude in affording facilities to a staff union and its decisions are not subject to judicial review. That is not so, however, where it is charged with breach of freedom of association. The Tribunal will indeed interfere if the effect of the impugned decision is to hamper the freedom of speech that any union must enjoy. Refusal to deliver invitations to a union meeting is unquestionably a breach of the privacy of mail and of the freedom of speech that is part and parcel of freedom of association."
case law; freedom of speech; staff union; freedom of association; facilities; staff union activity; judicial review; discretion; limits; flaw
"The EPO had no formal agreement with the union about facilities such as the distribution of a summons to a meeting. But it admitted to the Appeals Committee that its consistent practice since 1992 had been to distribute any unsealed unofficial internal mail, whether private or not, save any text containing a personal attack on someone. Was such usage binding in law? [...] The plain expectation of the staff was that the EPO would deliver notices from their union without let or hindrance." Therefore the complaints succeed.
organisation's duties; practice; freedom of speech; staff union; freedom of association; facilities; staff union activity; judicial review; discretion; limits; flaw; binding character
"The claim by Mr. C. to an award of damages to the union is irreceivable because his complaint is in his own name."
complaint; claim; locus standi; receivability of the complaint; staff union