Judgment No. 4060
1. The ICC shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 20,000 euros.
2. The ICC shall also pay the complainant costs in the amount of 6,000 euros.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant, an ICC Senior Security Officer, contests the decision to temporarily withdraw his authorisation to carry a firearm.
Consistent precedent has it that “[a]s a matter of law, a claim is moot when there is no longer a live controversy. Whether or not there is a live controversy is a matter to be determined by the Tribunal” (see, for example, Judgment 2856, under 5). As a result of the reinstatement of the complainant’s firearm authorisation, the impugned decision is no longer operative and, consequently, the complainant’s claim for the reversal of “the decision to temporarily remove [his] authority to carry a firearm or, in case this cannot be granted, reinstate [his] authorisation to carry a firearm” has been overtaken by the 22 February 2017 decision. The fact that the impugned decision is no longer in force, however, does not resolve the other live issues between the parties concerning the lawfulness of that decision and the consequences of that decision for which the complainant claims moral damages.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2856
complaint; receivability of the complaint; cause of action; claim moot
The Tribunal has consistently held that the affected staff member must be given reasons in support of any adverse administrative decision (see, for example, Judgments 2124, under 3, 3041, under 9, and 3617, under 5). As stated recently in Judgment 3903, under 21, the rationale underlying the obligation to give reasons is to safeguard the staff member’s rights, which requires, among other things, that “the affected staff member must be given an opportunity of knowing and evaluating whether or not the decision should be timely contested” (see Judgment 2124, under 4). Implicit in this statement is that the evaluation as to whether the decision should be contested involves a consideration of whether, having regard to the nature of the decision, there are other options to explore short of initiating the internal appeal process. For example, to state a few, the staff member may wish to initiate a discussion regarding remedial action that she or he could take, if warranted, or pursue informal or formal mediation. Particularly, in cases such as the present case, the adequacy of the reasons is critical and requires sufficiently clear, precise and intelligible reasons. Based on the considerations below, the Tribunal finds that the reasons given to the complainant were not adequate.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2124, 3041, 3617, 3903
duty to substantiate decision; motivation
The ICC’s failure to provide the complainant with adequate reasons for the 12 June 2014 decision constitutes a breach of the complainant’s due process rights and, accordingly, the decision is unlawful. This would warrant an order setting aside the decision, however, as noted above, such an order is unnecessary as the decision is no longer in force. The complainant is nonetheless entitled to moral damages for the breach of his due process rights.
duty to substantiate decision; damages; due process; motivation; moral damages
[A] review of the chronology [...] shows that the Administration failed to provide the complainant with relevant information in a timely manner. This led to unnecessary delays in the resolution of the complainant’s case, misunderstandings, and was an affront to the complainant’s dignity. This ongoing failure to provide the complainant with the information which he was entitled to receive is exacerbated by the fact that the ICC has not advanced any reasons for withholding the information. The complainant is entitled to moral damages in the amount of 20,000 euros and costs in the amount of 6,000 euros.
injury; duty to inform; respect for dignity; duty of care; moral damages