Judgment No. 1392
THE COMPLAINT AND THE APPLICATIONS TO INTERVENE ARE DISMISSED.
Because of the functions the Regulations confer on an appeals body, it is bound "to take a stand on many an issue that affects or may later affect its ownmembers as [employees of the organisation]. That is true of any court of administrative law, which may have to make rulings that affect its own members as individual citizens. The universal experience of the judiciary is that the duty of independence may be fully respected even in such circumstances."
internal appeals body; composition; independence; staff member's interest
"The appeal procedure set forth in the Service Regulations is, to quote Article 106, an individual appeals system. Such too is the basic feature of the system of appeal embodied in Article II of the Statute of the Tribunal, though it is subject to the provision in Article VII(2) setting a special time limit for appeal against any decision affecting a 'class of officials', which runs from the date of issue. So it is only by virtue of an individual contract of employment with the organisation that someone may lodge a complaint and the complainant may not alter the nature of the suit by declaring when he files the complaint that he is doing so as a staff union representative."
ILOAT reference: ARTICLE II AND ARTICLE VII(2) OF THE STATUTE
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE 106 OF THE EPO SERVICE REGULATIONS
complaint; general decision; locus standi; complainant; receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; tribunal; competence of tribunal; time limit; start of time limit; iloat statute; staff regulations and rules; staff representative; publication
"There will be misuse of authority where the administration exercises it for some purpose other than those prescribed by law or, to put it more broadly, those that the general interest requires. A staff member who pleads misuse of authority, and the Tribunal that allows the plea, must be able to identify the improper purposes for which the authority [...] has been exercised."
evidence; burden of proof; misuse of authority; definition
Whereas the right to a pension "is no doubt inviolable, a pension contribution is by its very nature subject to variation [...]. Far from infringing any acquired right a rise in contribution that is warranted for sound actuarial reasons [...] actually affords the best safeguard against the threat that lack of foresight may pose to the future value of pension benefits."
acquired right; pension; actuarial valuation; contributions; increase
The complainant objects to the actuarial method which the organisation used in a study of the pension fund's foreseeable costs. "Like any public authority, the EPO enjoys a presumption in its favour - especially when it is taking technical measures and it has done thorough preparatory work - that its choice of actuarial method is the most suitable and the fairest. [...] It is of course open to a staff member under a system of administrative law to challenge the organisation's choice, but he must be able to adduce evidence to show why the chosen method, when compared with others, may suffer from technical flaws that should have disqualified it."
organisation; right of appeal; evidence; burden of proof; reckoning; pension; actuarial valuation; contributions; judicial review; discretion; mistake of fact; increase