Judgment No. 2306
1. To the extent that the decision of the Director-General of 16 August 2002 embodies a decision not to pay the complainant any sum beyond that recommended by the Appeals Committee, that decision is set aside.
2. The FAO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 5,000 United States dollars in addition to implementing the recommendations of the Appeals Committee.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant seeks the creation of an Office of the Ombudsman. "So far as concerns the claim [...], the complaint is clearly irreceivable. In this regard, it is sufficient to note that [the] claim was made for the first time in the complaint to the Tribunal and, accordingly, no decision could have been made on that issue prior to the filing of the complaint. More importantly, the claim does not concern the non-observance of the complainant's terms of appointment or of the provisions of the Staff Regulations of the [Organization], they being the only matters upon which this Tribunal is competent to adjudicate."
procedure; claim; new claim; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; absence of final decision; receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; competence of tribunal; iloat; staff regulations and rules; breach; provision; contract; consequence
Considerations 10 and 11
"As a general rule, damages for breach of contract, including wrongful termination of a contract of employment, are confined to the amount necessary to put the injured party in the position he or she would have enjoyed if the contract had been performed. Thus, ordinarily, an employee is entitled, in the case of wrongful termination, to salary and entitlements only up to the date on which the contract would normally have expired. Of course, in some circumstances, material damage may extend beyond the salary and allowances that would otherwise have been paid during the course of the contract. Thus, for example, an employee may be entitled to additional compensation if it is shown that he or she lost a valuable chance of having the contract renewed or extended."
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; injury; material injury; international civil servant; exception; amount; reconstruction of career; evidence; general principle; contract; extension; salary; allowance; termination; limits; misuse of authority; compensation; right; material damages
Considerations 10 and 15
As a general rule, damages for breach of contract, including wrongful termination of a contract of employment, are confined to the amount necessary to put the injured party in the position he or she would have enjoyed if the contract had been performed. Thus, ordinarily, in the case of wrongful termination, an employee is entitled to material damages consisting of salary and entitlements up to the date on which the contract would normally have expired. In this case "the Appeals Committee found that 'the [complainant's] dignity had been harmed by the administrative procedure leading to termination and that some redress for the material and moral injury he suffered [was] warranted' [...]. Notwithstanding that finding, the Committee only recommended payment of an amount equivalent to salary and allowances until the end of the complainant's fixed-term contract. As already explained, he was entitled to that amount for material damage. Thus, the effect of the recommendation of the Appeals Committee was to deny the complainant compensation for moral injury notwithstanding its finding that his dignity had been harmed. That was an error of law and, as the Director-General's decision was based on the recommendations of the Appeals Committee, it necessarily involves the same error of law."
procedure; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; decision; material injury; moral injury; international civil servant; internal appeals body; recommendation; amount; reconstruction of career; general principle; respect for dignity; breach; contract; fixed-term; salary; allowance; termination; executive head; misuse of authority; compensation; consequence; effect; right; same
"Given the unsatisfactory nature of the administrative processes which led to the early termination of the complainant's contract and, in particular, the lack of due process, the want of transparency and the 'unreasonably brief' nature of those processes, [...] the complainant should be awarded moral damages in the amount of 5,000 United States dollars."
procedure; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; moral injury; amount; right to reply; breach; contract; termination; procedural flaw; right; moral damages