Judgment No. 687
1. THE IMPUGNED DECISION IS QUASHED AND THE COMPLAINANT IS REFERRED BACK TO THE EPO FOR DETERMINATION OF HIS RIGHTS ON REINSTATEMENT.
2. THE EPO SHALL PAY HIM 3,000 GUILDERS AS COSTS.
"Although the Tribunal may review the lawfulness of the dismissal, the nature of the decision is such that its power of review, where it finds no formal or procedural flaw, is limited. It will set the decision aside only if there was a mistake of law [...]. In a case of dismissal of a probationer the administration should be allowed the widest measure of authority, and the decision will be quashed only if the mistake or the illegality is especially serious or glaring."
probationary period; termination of employment; judicial review; discretion
"Implicit in [Article 13 of the EPO Service Regulations] and in the general principles which govern the international civil service is the notion that the purpose of probation is to find out whether the official is capable of a satisfactory career in the organisation. The competent authority will determine on the evidence before it, and possibly after extension of the probation, whether to dismiss the official or to confirm his appointment."
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE 13 EPO SERVICE REGULATIONS
international civil service principles; staff regulations and rules; probationary period; qualifications; purpose
The complainant was dismissed for reasons of unsatisfactory performance after a six-month extended period of probation even though his work showed improvement during the extension. It does not "matter that the complainant experienced difficulties in the first year of probation. In agreeing to extend the probation the President acknowledged that there might be improvement, and indeed there was. It was a serious abuse of discretion for him to overlook those facts unless the dossier contains evidence produced after the end of the normal probation period."
complaint allowed; decision quashed; satisfactory service; probationary period; extension of contract; termination of employment; unsatisfactory service; disregard of essential fact
Although the complainant's performance showed improvement by the end of an extended period of probation, the organisation dismissed him. The Tribunal holds that the extension of probation gave him reason to believe that if his work was found satisfactory he would get appointed. The President drew clearly mistaken conclusions from the evidence. His decision is set aside and the complainant is referred back to the organisation for determination of his rights on reinstatement in its employ as from the date of his dismissal.
decision quashed; reconstruction of career; case sent back to organisation; legitimate expectation; satisfactory service; probationary period; extension of contract; reinstatement; termination of employment; mistaken conclusion