Judgment No. 2996
1. The decision of the Director-General of EMBL of 23 February 2009 rejecting the complainant's application for an invalidity pension is set aside.
2. The case is referred back to EMBL in order that the Director-General take a new decision on this application, after consulting the Invalidity and Rehabilitation Board, whose members must be different from those of the previous Board, and in order that the complainant's entitlement to assistance in obtaining a post be examined.
3. The Laboratory shall pay the complainant costs in the amount of 3,000 euros.
4. All the complainant's other claims are dismissed, as is the Laboratory's counterclaim.
"While procedural rules and time limits usually apply to the officials of international organisations without it being necessary to recapitulate them when a decision is notified, this is not the case where a rule expressly establishes an obligation to provide this information when notifying a decision [...] and where this formality has not been respected. [...] [T]he principle of good faith requires that an official's complaint will not be deemed irreceivable owing to his or her failure to lodge an internal appeal, if the organisation itself has not abided by the requisite formalities enabling the official to submit an appeal."
receivability of the complaint; direct appeal to tribunal; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; time limit; general principle; good faith; duty to inform; written rule; flaw; procedural flaw; final decision; notification
Considerations 15 and 16
"While generally speaking there is no reason why an advisory body on medical questions should not comprise the same members when it has to give a series of opinions on developments in the condition of the same official, that is not the case where it is required to give a second opinion on the same request of that person, as occurred here. [...] As the Tribunal found in [...] Judgments 179 and 2671, the rule that members of an advisory body must not examine a case on which they have previously expressed a view applies even in the absence of an express text, since its purpose is to protect officials against arbitrary action."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 179, 2671
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; international civil servant; advisory body; composition; exception; organisation's duties; no provision; medical board; medical opinion; bias; purpose; request by a party; safeguard; same