Judgment No. 1715
The complaint is dismissed.
"In order to be a 'dependent spouse' someone must be not only the dependant but also the 'spouse' of the staff member. As a general rule, and in the absence of a definition of the term, the status of spouse will flow from a marriage publicly performed and certified by an official of the State where the ceremony has taken place, such marriage being then proved by the production of an official certificate. The Tribunal accepts, however, that there may be de facto situations, of which 'traditional' marriages are examples, and which some States recognise as creating the status of 'spouse'. In each such case where there is no definition of 'spouse' it will be up to the staff member to prove not only the existence of the relevant fact but also the precise provisions of local law which give it consequences and the exact nature of those consequences, and he must show that such law is applicable in the context of the Organisation's Staff Regulations and Rules."
marital status; evidence; burden of proof; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; dependant; definition