Judgment No. 1125
1. THE IMPUGNED DECISION IS SET ASIDE.
2) THE COMPLAINANT IS SENT BACK TO THE ORGANISATION FOR REVIEW OF HER CLAIM.
3) THE ORGANISATION SHALL PAY HER 2,500 SWISS FRANCS IN COSTS.
The complainant wants the Organisation to continue making contributions into a savings fund for the benefit of her heirs after the date of her retirement. "[H]er own lack of financial entitlement does not bar her from asking the Tribunal to enforce a provision of the material regulations."
complainant; successor; receivability of the complaint; cause of action; competence of tribunal
"When [a] text is clear there is no call for any interpretation or, in particular, to take account of the draughtsman's purpose. Only where two provisions of the same text or two parallel texts are at variance will any attempt be made to reconcile them."
criteria; purpose; interpretation of rules
"Where the Rule [viz. Article 25 of the 1956 Staff Rules] is silent the competent authority - here the Administrative Committee - does have discretion to set the amount of the contribution to be paid from the date of retirement. But its decision will not be immune to review by the Tribunal, which will interfere if it finds some mistake of fact or of law [etc.]". The decision to do away with the material benefit is in breach of Article 25 and cannot stand.
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE 25 OF THE 1956 STAFF RULES
organisation; amount; staff regulations and rules; breach; no provision; provision; contributions; judicial review; discretion; discontinuance
"A construction which an international organisation wilfully and consistently puts on a rule for years may become a binding element of personnel policy to be applied to everyone who is in the same position in law and in fact. That flows from the general principles that an organisation must show good faith and frame personnel policy in objective terms. Yet it may alter a construction it was not required to follow provided that it does not thereby offend against any of its written rules."
general principle; good faith; practice; staff regulations and rules; amendment to the rules; interpretation; binding character