Judgment No. 2598
1. The impugned decision is quashed.
2. The case is referred back to the Organization in order that it may proceed as indicated under 7.
3. WIPO shall pay the complainant 2,000 Swiss francs in costs.
"Having studied the submissions the Tribunal notes that, in the internal appeal he filed on 30 September [...], the complainant expressly reserved the right to set out his position on the receivability of his appeal in the light of any explanations the Administration might supply in support of its reply; that in that reply the Organization dealt at length with the receivability of the internal appeal; that in his letter of 20 October [...] the complainant asked to be allowed to submit a rejoinder to the Organization's reply and to have the said reply, which was in English, translated into French to enable him to 'actually find out what it said'; and that the Appeal Board wrote its report four days after this request on which it had not acted.
In view of the [...] circumstances the Tribunal considers that, as the receivability of the appeal was disputed in the Organization's reply, respect for the principle of due process and the right to be heard required that the complainant be afforded an opportunity to present his point of view.
The Tribunal holds that, although the Appeal Board was not obliged to accede to the complainant's request concerning translation of the Organization's reply, it ought to have informed the complainant so that he could, by his own means, 'actually find out' what the reply said and, if necessary, submit a rejoinder within a reasonable period of time, as he wished to do.
The Tribunal considers that, as a result, the failure to observe the principle of due process deprived the complainant of his right to be heard on the essential issue of the receivability of his appeal."
receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; internal appeal; report; decision quashed; rejoinder; reply; adversarial proceedings; good faith; organisation's duties; duty to inform; language of rule; right to be heard