Judgment No. 2513
1. The complaint is allowed and the impugned decision is set aside.
2. The IAEA shall pay the complainant all salaries and benefits to which he would have been entitled if his appointment had been extended to 31 December 2004, together with interest from due dates.
3. It shall pay him damages of 12,000 euros and costs of 5,000 euros.
The Deputy Director General submitted a memorandum requesting one-year extensions of contract for the complainant and six other officials who had reached the statutory age of retirement. The Director General dealt with all seven requests. Three were granted. In the complainant's case, the request for extension was simply turned down without any reason being given. The Tribunal recalls its case-law according to which a provision such as Staff Regulation 4.05 gives the Director General a wide measure of discretion and the Tribunal will not interfere in the exercise of that discretion except in extremely limited circumstances. The Tribunal recently confirmed as much in Judgment 2377, which also concerns the IAEA retirement policy. That case is not authority, however, for the proposition that the power to extend appointments beyond normal retirement age can be exercised arbitrarily. In the present case, "[i]t is impossible to conclude other than that the decision in the complainant's case was made for some undisclosed or purely arbitrary reason. Therefore, it cannot stand."
Organization rules reference: IAEA Staff Regulation 4.05
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2377
complaint allowed; decision; duty to substantiate decision; grounds; exception; decision quashed; case law; equal treatment; organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; retirement; age limit; judicial review; discretion; limits; bias
"The Tribunal notes [...] that in the absence of special circumstances such as a compelling need to preserve confidentiality, internal appellate bodies such as the [Joint Appeals Board] must strictly observe the rules of due process and natural justice and that those rules normally require a full opportunity for interested parties to be present at the hearing of witnesses and to make full answer in defence."
procedure before the tribunal; complaint allowed; internal appeals body; exception; confidential evidence; testimony; applicable law; general principle; adversarial proceedings; right to reply; due process; organisation's duties