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Judgment No. 427

Decision

The complaint is allowed, the Director's decision of 23 November 1979 is quashed and it is ordered:
1. that the complainant deliver to the Organization his claim for compensation with details as indicated in paragraph 19(b) above, that the Organization reply within thirty days and that within that period the Organization pay to the complainant such sum, if any, as under the terms of this judgment it admits to be due, and that the balance, if any, be submitted to the Tribunal for assessment;
2. that the complainant deliver to the Organization an account of legal fees reasonably incurred, that within thirty days the Organization pay to the complainant all such fees as it admits to have been reasonably incurred, and that the balance, if any, be submitted to the Tribunal for assessment;
3. that the Organization pay to the complainant forthwith the sum of US$20,000 as damages for moral prejudice.

Consideration 19(D)

Extract:

"It is not a simple case of non-renewal. The complainant was the victim of a misconceived charge of misconduct of which the Director pronounced him to be guilty. The letter dropping the charge contained no withdrawal or apology and was composed as if the dropping was an act of lenience [...]. The illegal use of [the provision respecting special leave] made it appear as if the complainant had been summarily dismissed. [...] By these acts the complainant must have been caused deep distress. On the natural assumption that this course of action was pursued by a Director exercising wisdom and impartiality the interested public would inevitably conclude that the complainant had in some way disgraced himself".

Keywords

moral injury; professional injury; lack of evidence; respect for dignity; contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; serious misconduct

Consideration 19(B)

Extract:

The complainant's appointment was not renewed, that decision being contrary to the organization's interests. The Tribunal awards compensation in full based on the amount he would have earned through regular contract renewal. "The complainant asks also 'that the wrongful suspension from duty should not affect his pension rights.' The Tribunal is not competent to make an order in that form, but the complainant may claim compensation for loss or diminution of pension rights as for loss of salary and emoluments."

Keywords

injury; competence of tribunal; contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; pension; pension entitlements; suspension; bias; material damages

Consideration 19(B)

Extract:

The complainant asks for "compensation 'based on the amount he would have earned through regular contract renewal'. This is not a basis usually taken in cases of non-renewal, for it has always to be remembered that in such a case a complainant has been deprived not of a contractual right but only of an expectation [...]. In the present case [...] the expectation was very solid [...]. In these exceptional circumstances the Tribunal concludes that full financial compensation should be given on the basis claimed."

Keywords

amount; damages; legitimate expectation; contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract

Consideration 18

Extract:

"Prima facie it was in the interests of the organization that the complainant's contract should be renewed. [...] It would not be in the interests of the organization [...] that staff members who are free to run for the office of director should not also feel free to do so without fear of suffering adverse consequences. [...] It would be impossible on any objective assessment of the situation to justify as in the interests of the organization a decision to pay the complainant for six months for doing nothing rather than to give him the opportunity of making good his promise [to co-operate]. [...] The Tribunal considers that on the evidence the high probability is that the complainant would have given useful and loyal service to the organization for the rest of his career."

Keywords

contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; special leave; organisation's interest; presumption

Consideration 14

Extract:

A provision which stipulates that special leave may be granted with full, partial or no pay "for training or research in the interests of the Bureau or for other valid reasons [...] does not give authority to the Director to order special leave for any reason he considers to be valid; the reason must be advanced by the staff member and only then is the Director empowered to judge its validity. The decision to 'place you on special leave' [...] must therefore be quashed".

Keywords

grounds; decision quashed; training; special leave; discretion; executive head; purpose

Consideration 15

Extract:

"While a candidate who is standing against an incumbent director must be free to criticise in moderate language his opponent's record, it may well be argued, as it is in this case, that his proclaimed opposition to the director who is re-elected may interfere with fruitful co-operation. So an assessment that was objective and unprejudiced might have arrived at the same conclusion as the director's [on the basis of which the complainant's contract was not renewed]." However the Tribunal held that decision to be biased.

Keywords

contract; candidate; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; working relations; election; executive head

Consideration 2

Extract:

The reason for the decision not to renew the contract "was that the position which [the complainant] is said to have taken 'precludes all possibility of the continuation of a fruitful working relationship between yourself and the management'. This reason, on the face of it conclusive, is attacked by the complainant on the ground that the decision resulted from personal prejudice on the part of the Director or from incomplete consideration by him of the facts. These grounds [taken from the Staff Rules] fall within the Tribunal's limited power of review and are such, if they are established, as to authorise and require the Tribunal to quash the main decision not to renew."

Keywords

contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; conduct; judicial review; bias

Consideration 7

Extract:

The question of the candidacy of a staff member for the office of director of the organization must be resolved by the Staff Regulations. "They might forbid staff members from standing as candidates or restrict their activities if they do stand. But, in the absence of an express regulation, a staff member is entitled to think that he is bound only by those standards of propriety to be observed by the candidates generally; otherwise the electoral processes would be unfair."

Keywords

staff regulations and rules; enforcement; candidate; conduct; duty of discretion; election; executive head; official

Consideration 12

Extract:

"The charge of misconduct is so preposterous and the Director's eagerness, before hearing the defence to the charge, to use it as a ground for dismissal is so manifest that resentment is the only explanation. Accordingly the Tribunal cannot view the letter [of dismissal] as that of a man who would be able to take a detached view of the conduct of the complainant whether in relation to a disciplinary charge or to an assessment of his future usefulness to the organization." The decision is defective as vitiated by prejudice.

Keywords

contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; serious misconduct; conduct; bias



 
Last updated: 25.08.2020 ^ top