Judgment No. 3069
1. WIPO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the sum of 2,000 Swiss francs for the delay in the proceedings before the Joint Grievance Panel.
2. It shall also pay him 1,000 francs in costs.
3. The complaint is otherwise dismissed.
Although the complainant’s claim before the Joint Grievance Panel included a claim for “[s]uch other relief that [it] deem[ed] necessary, equitable and just”, that formula could not convert his claim for compensation in the amount of one Swiss franc – a claim for symbolic damages – into a claim for actual and moral damages as now sought. Accordingly, that claim is irreceivable and must be dismissed (see Judgment 2837, under 3, and the cases there cited). [I]t is to be remembered that, by Article VIII of its Statute, the Tribunal's powers are to rescind impugned decisions, to order the performance of obligations and to award compensation. As pointed out in Judgment 2636, under 16, the Tribunal is not empowered to order apologies. Nor is it empowered to order a staff member, who is not even a party to the proceedings before it, to withdraw his or her previous statements.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2636, 2837
new claim; competence of tribunal; compensation
"There is no reason in principle why the actions of a subordinate cannot constitute harassment of his or her supervisor, particularly where those actions consist of persistent unfounded allegations of harassment. However, just as the actions of a supervisor that serve a legitimate managerial or supervisory function do not constitute harassment, so, too, actions taken in good faith by a subordinate that serve the function of protecting his or her legitimate interests do not constitute harassment."
good faith; staff member's interest; supervisor; harassment
"[I]t is well settled that statements made in good faith in response to criticism or attack do not attract liability for defamation."
liability; respect for dignity
"[A]n international organisation has an obligation to ensure that an internal body charged with investigating and reporting on claims of harassment is properly functioning."
inquiry; organisation's duties; harassment