Judgment No. 4270
The complaints are dismissed.
The complainants, former officials of the World Food Programme whose employment was terminated as a result of the abolition of their posts, allege that they performed functions of a higher level than those of the posts they occupied, and claim compensation as well as reinstatement.
receivability of the complaint; direct appeal to tribunal; summary procedure; late filing; complaint dismissed
As the complaints, which contain almost identical briefs, raise the same arguments and seek the same relief, it is convenient that they be joined to form the subject of a single judgment.
The complainants are not impugning an express administrative decision concerning them. Instead, they rely on Article VII, paragraph 3, of the Tribunal’s Statute, which permits a complainant to have recourse to the Tribunal “[w]here the Administration fails to take a decision upon any claim of an official within sixty days from the notification of the claim to it”. However, the same paragraph sets forth a deadline for filing a complaint with the Tribunal. Once the sixty-day period allowed for the taking of the decision by the Administration has expired, the complaint must be filed within the following ninety days. As the Tribunal clarified in Judgments 456 and 2901,
“the purpose of [the] provisions [of Article VII, paragraph 3, of its Statute] is twofold. Their first aim is to enable an official to defend [her or his] interests by going to the Tribunal when the Administration has failed to take a decision. Their second aim is to prevent a dispute from dragging on indefinitely, which would undermine the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations. It follows from these twin purposes that, if the Administration fails to take a decision on a claim within sixty days, the person submitting it not only can, but must refer the matter to the Tribunal within the following ninety days, i.e. within 150 days of [her or his] claim being received by the organisation, otherwise his or her complaint will be irreceivable.”
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 3, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 456, 2901
direct appeal to tribunal; late filing