Judgment No. 3651
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision not to confirm his appointment upon the expiry of his probationary period.
probationary period; complaint dismissed
Considerations 5 and 6
In Judgment 3311, considerations 5 and 6, the Tribunal reiterated that the time limits for internal appeal procedures serve the important purposes of ensuring that disputes are dealt with in a timely way and the rights of parties are known to be settled at a particular point of time. The Tribunal relevantly rationalized this approach in the following terms: time limits are an objective matter of fact and strict adherence to them is necessary, otherwise the efficacy of the whole system of administrative and judicial review of decisions potentially adversely affecting the staff of international organisations would be put at risk. Flexibility about time limits should not intrude into the Tribunal’s decision-making even if it might be thought to be equitable or fair in a particular case to allow some flexibility. To do otherwise would “impair the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations” (see Judgment 2722, consideration 3). However, there are some exceptions to this general approach, which have been expressed in the Tribunal’s case law.
Additionally, however, Manual paragraph 331.3.31 provides that the Appeals Committee may consider an appeal that has been filed out of time to be receivable if it finds that the failure to abide by the time-limit was for a reason that was outside of the complainant’s control and the length of the delay in filing was reasonable in the circumstances of the case.
The complainant only states that his appeal was hampered because upon being separated from service, the FAO discontinued his email account and that this action delayed his preparation of the appeal. It is however noted that the FAO re-activated the complainant’s account a week later for thirty days. As the Appeals Committee found, this circumstance did not justify the late filing of the complainant’s appeal some two and a half months after his account was restored. Accordingly, the complaint is irreceivable, under Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal, as the complainant has not exhausted the internal means of appeal and has failed to submit his appeal to the Director-General within the prescribed time limit required by Staff Rule 303.1.311. The complaint will therefore be dismissed in its entirety.
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2722, 3311
receivability of the complaint; internal remedies exhausted; time bar; late appeal; late filing