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Judgment No. 2811

Decision

The complaint is dismissed

Considerations 10 and 11

Extract:

"In an attempt to show that her complaint is receivable the complainant submits that, in this case, an appeal to the Board of Appeal or Grievance Panel would not have served any practical purpose [...].
The Tribunal will not accept this line of argument, since to do so would be tantamount to allowing a staff member, on his or her own initiative, to evade the requirement that internal means of redress must be exhausted before a complaint is filed.
Apart from the fact that this solution would conflict directly with the terms of Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal, it would belie the actual point of making internal appeals obligatory, which is what justifies this provision. However, as the Tribunal has already emphasised, [...] the purpose of the requirement that internal means of redress be exhausted is not only to ensure that staff members do actually avail themselves of any opportunities they may have within an organisation for obtaining redress before filing a complaint with the Tribunal, but also to enable the Tribunal, in the event that a staff member lodges a complaint, to have at its disposal a file supplemented by information from the records of the internal appeal procedure."

Reference(s)

ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1141

Keywords

complaint; receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; direct appeal to tribunal; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted

Consideration 11

Extract:

The WHO argues that the complaint is irreceivable because the complainant failed to challenge the Director-General's decision before the Headquarters Board of Appeal. The complainant submits that, in this case, an appeal would not have served any practical purpose. She contends that, bearing in mind the purely advisory nature of this body, the Director-General could have confirmed her initial decision, no matter what recommendation was made to her.
"The fact that the recommendations of the Board of Appeal are not binding on the decision-making authority does not mean that they have no weight in the internal appeals procedure, since the Director-General has a legal duty to give such recommendations due consideration and, according to the Tribunal's case law, can lawfully depart from them only for clear and cogent reasons."

Keywords

complaint; duty to substantiate decision; receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; executive body

Consideration 12

Extract:

WHO argues that the complaint is irreceivable because the complainant failed to exhaust internal means of redress. The complainant submits that, in this case, an appeal would not have served any practical purpose. She contends that her internal appeal could not be examined with due objectiveness and impartiality and she indicates that the Tribunal found in Judgment 2642 that the WHO Headquarters Grievance Panel had displayed serious shortcomings.
"Although the complainant indicates that the Tribunal found in Judgment 2642, delivered on 11 July 2007, that the WHO Headquarters Grievance Panel had displayed serious shortcomings, this judgment should not be construed as general criticism of the way such panels operate."

Keywords

complaint; receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; case law

Consideration 13

Extract:

The WHO argues that the complaint is irreceivable because the complainant failed to exhaust internal means of redress. The complainant submits that, in this case, an appeal would not have served any practical purpose. Relying on various Tribunal judgments where complainants were deemed to have exhausted internal means of redress when it transpired that the latter would be inconclusive, she contends that she was likewise in a situation where she was entitled to turn directly to the Tribunal.
"The complainant is mistaken in believing that she may be deemed in this case to have exhausted internal means of redress. The precedents to which she refers [...] refer to cases where, owing to the excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings, or the organisation's wrongful attempts to impede the examination of such an appeal, the requirement that internal means of redress must be exhausted would have paralysed the complainant's exercise of his or her right to have access to the Tribunal. However, as a general rule, and according to the same line of precedent, this departure from the application of Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal will be accepted only where complainants have done all that could reasonably be expected of them to have their internal appeal effectively examined, so that they cannot be said to be in any way responsible for a failure to exhaust the internal means of redress available within an organisation. But, this is not the case here where, on the contrary, the complainant quite simply refrained from filing such an appeal and therefore took it upon herself not to comply with this precondition for filing a complaint with the Tribunal."

Reference(s)

ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1376, 1829, 1968, 2039

Keywords

complaint; receivability of the complaint; direct appeal to tribunal; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; delay; reasonable time

Consideration 15

Extract:

"Some of [the complainant's] requests clearly lie outside the Tribunal's jurisdiction. This is true, for example, of the requests that the Tribunal order the imposition of disciplinary measures on staff members of the Organization, that the complainant be sent a public letter of apology [...] or that a management audit of her department be conducted by independent experts. This is also true of the request that the Tribunal order the Organization to take steps to ensure that the complainant's immediate supervisor will no longer supervise her."

Reference(s)

Jugement(s) TAOIT: 968, 1591, 2605

Keywords

claim; receivability of the complaint; competence of tribunal; supervisor; disciplinary measure



 
Dernière mise à jour: 14.09.2017 ^ haut