Judgment No. 3090
1. The decision of the Director General of 23 September 2009 is set aside.
2. WIPO shall pay the complainant damages in the amount of 60,000 Swiss francs.
3. It shall also pay her 5,000 francs in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
"[T]he Tribunal may rule on any employment relationship arising between an organisation and its staff, whether under the terms of a contract or under Staff Regulations. If a decision to appoint an employee, or to terminate his or her employment, is challenged on the grounds that it affects the rights of the person concerned which the Tribunal is competent to safeguard, the Tribunal must rule on the lawfulness of the disputed decision. It is immaterial whether the employee in question was recruited under a contract and whether that contract was for a fixed term. (See Judgment 1272, under 9.)"
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1272
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; international civil servant; competence of tribunal; staff regulations and rules; terms of appointment; contract; appointment; duration of appointment; termination; right; safeguard
"[WIPO's] employment relationship with the complainant always rested on short-term contracts [...]. These contracts were systematically renewed without any notable breaks, with the result that [...] the complainant pursued a career in the Organization for more than seven years, i.e. until the expiry of [her last] contract. This long succession of short-term contracts gave rise to a legal relationship between the complainant and WIPO which was equivalent to that on which permanent staff members of an organisation may rely. In considering that the complainant belonged to the category of short-term employees to whom the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules do not apply and who do not enjoy legal protection comparable to that enjoyed by other staff members, the defendant failed to recognise the real nature of its legal relationship with the complainant. In so doing it committed an error of law and misused the rules governing short-term contracts."
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; status of complainant; applicable law; staff regulations and rules; terms of appointment; career; contract; extension; permanent; short-term; temporary-indefinite; non-renewal; mistake of law; misuse of authority; difference