Judgment No. 3742
1. The impugned decision, contained in the Director-General’s letter dated 8 April 2014, is set aside.
2. The FAO shall ensure that the formerly selected candidate, Ms S., is shielded from any injury that may flow from the setting aside of the impugned decision and the resultant quashing of an appointment which she had accepted in good faith.
3. The FAO shall pay the complainant a total of 16,000 euros in moral damages.
4. The FAO shall also pay the complainant 1,000 euros in costs.
5. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant contests the direct appointment of Ms S. to the position of Director, Office of Support to Decentralization.
A challenge to a direct appointment is essentially a challenge to a selection process, which the Tribunal approaches with some restraint. Such a decision is subject to only limited review. It is well established that staff appointments and promotions by an international organisation
are decisions which lie within the discretion of its executive head. However, the discretion must be exercised within the bounds of legality. The Tribunal explained this in Judgment 3537, under 10 [...].
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3537
discretion; selection procedure
There is nothing in the provision which suggests the applicability of the ejusdem generis rule. The words of the provision are clear and must be so interpreted on the primary rule of interpretation that words which are unambiguous are to be given their obvious and ordinary meaning (see Judgments 1222, under 4, 3213, under 6, and 3707, under 4).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1222, 3213, 3707
The impugned decision will be set aside on the understanding that the [Organization] shall shield the selected candidate […] from any injury that may flow from the setting aside of the impugned decision and the resultant quashing of an appointment which she had accepted in good faith (see Judgments 1477, under 11, and 2336, under 4).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1477, 2336
The procedural irregularity which has resulted in setting aside the impugned decision caused the complainant a moral injury [...].
[T]he Appeals Committee did not provide that information to the complainant, in breach of its duty of procedural fairness. It is well established in the Tribunal’s case law that a “staff member must as a general rule have access to all evidence on which the authority bases (or intends to base) its decision against him” (see Judgment 3264, under 15). The complainant will be awarded moral damages [...].
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3264
internal appeal; due process; moral damages