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Judgment No. 3837


The complaint is dismissed.


The complainant contests the decision not to extend her fixed-term appointment.

Judgment keywords


internal remedies exhausted; time limit; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; late appeal; complaint dismissed

Consideration 5


In Judgment 3311, considerations 5 and 6, the Tribunal observed that time limits for internal appeal procedures and the time limits in the Tribunal’s Statute serve the important purposes of ensuring that disputes are dealt with in a timely way so that the rights of parties are known to be settled at a particular point of time. The consistently stated principle that time limits must be strictly adhered to has been rationalized by the Tribunal in the following terms: time limits are an objective matter of fact and strict adherence to them is necessary for the efficacy of the whole system of administrative and judicial review of decisions. An inefficacious system could potentially adversely affect the staff of international organisations. Flexibility about time limits should not intrude into the Tribunal’s decision-making even if it might be thought to be equitable or fair in a particular case to allow some flexibility. To do otherwise would “‘impair the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations’. This general principle applies in relation to internal appeals even if the internal appeal body considers the appeal on its merits notwithstanding that time limits have not been complied with by the complainant. As early as Judgment 775 [...], the Tribunal decided that if an internal appeal was time-barred and the internal appeals body was wrong to hear it, the Tribunal would not entertain a complaint challenging the decision taken on a recommendation by that body.”
In consideration 6 of Judgment 3311, the Tribunal noted the [...] qualifications to the application of this general approach [...].


ILOAT Judgment(s): 775, 3311


time limit

Consideration 10


[T]he Tribunal recalls that, according to its case law, while valid reasons must be given for the non-extension of a contract to permit the person concerned to exercise the right of appeal, the case law does not require that the reasons be stated in the text that gives notice of the non-extension (see, for example, Judgment 1750, consideration 6). The Tribunal also stated, in Judgment 2916, consideration 2, that “even though ‘notification of non-renewal is simply notification that the contract will expire according to its terms [...], the Tribunal’s case law has it that that notification is to be treated as a decision having legal effect for the purposes of Article VII(1) of its Statute’ [...]. Accordingly, it may be challenged in the same way as any other administrative decision.” The case law makes it clear that the reasons may emerge at some later time and even during the course of the appeal proceedings so long as the staff member is fittingly permitted to reply (see, for example, Judgment 1817, under 6). Further, it is sufficient if the reasons emerge orally in a meeting or discussion (see, for example, Judgment 3729, under 8 to 11). Moreover, it is sufficient if, as in the present case, programmatic and financial reasons are given for the non-extension. Accordingly, the following was relevantly stated in Judgment 3582, consideration 9 [...].


ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1750, 1817, 2916, 3582, 3729


non-renewal of contract

Last updated: 08.06.2020 ^ top