Judgment No. 2427
The complaint is dismissed.
"According to the case law [...], the Tribunal is competent to review the lawfulness of any decision by the Director-General to terminate a staff member's probation. In particular, it may determine whether that decision is based on errors of fact or law, or whether essential facts have not been taken into consideration, or whether clearly mistaken conclusions have been drawn from the facts, or, lastly, whether there has been an abuse of authority. The Tribunal may not, however, replace with its own the executive head's opinion of a staff member's performance, conduct or fitness for international service (see Judgment 318, considerations).
Other cases mention, as further grounds on which the Tribunal will review such decisions, a formal or procedural flaw, or lack of due process (see, for example, Judgments 13, 687, 736, 1017, 1161, 1175, 1183 and 1246) which, it has been noted, must be substantial to invalidate an end-of-probation termination decision."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 13, 318, 687, 736, 1017, 1161, 1175, 1183, 1246
decision; grounds; tribunal; competence of tribunal; decision quashed; evidence; case law; work appraisal; contract; probation; non-renewal of contract; termination; conduct; fitness for international civil service; judicial review; executive head; limits; disregard of essential fact; flaw; formal flaw; procedural flaw; mistake of fact; mistaken conclusion; misuse of authority
"[T]he vacancy notice stipulated: «Good knowledge of English or French; basic knowledge of the other language or an understanding to acquire it rapidly». The complainant denies that the importance of acquiring rapidly a basic knowledge of French was clearly explained to him, but his denial fails to take into account that even the vacancy notice was unambiguous in that regard. The Tribunal finds, from the evidence on file, that he was sufficiently warned, at the beginning of his probation period and later on, about the language requirements for his post. It is clear, and the complainant admits, that his knowledge of French did not improve enough to enable him to participate in meetings, right to the end of his probation period. That alone constitutes sufficient cause for his negative end-of-probation report. Such cause, and the resulting termination of his appointment, could not possibly have surprised him."
grounds; organisation's duties; duty to inform; vacancy notice; probation; probation report; knowledge of languages; non-renewal of contract; termination; staff member's duties; consequence