Judgment No. 4344
1. The IAEA shall pay the complainant 5,000 euros in moral damages.
2. The IAEA shall pay the complainant 1,000 euros in costs.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to close the case on his allegations of harassment as unsubstantiated.
complaint allowed; harassment
Regarding an organization’s duties where harassment complaints are made, the Tribunal has stated, for example, in Judgment 4207, consideration 15, that an international organization has a duty to provide a safe and adequate working environment for its staff members and that given the serious nature of a claim of harassment, an organization has an obligation to initiate the investigation itself. It further stated that the investigation must be initiated promptly, conducted thoroughly and the facts must be determined objectively and in their overall context and that upon the conclusion of the investigation, the complainant is entitled to a response from the Administration regarding the claim of harassment. Moreover, a person who makes a harassment complaint has a duty to substantiate that claim. The Tribunal’s case law states that the question as to whether harassment has occurred must be determined in the light of a thorough examination of all the objective circumstances surrounding the events complained of and that an allegation of harassment must be borne out by specific facts, the burden of proof being on the person who pleads it, but there is no need to prove that the accused person acted with intent (see, for example, Judgment 3871, consideration 12).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3871, 4207
burden of proof; harassment; investigation
The Tribunal [...] recalls that it is not its role to reweigh the evidence before an investigative body which, as the primary trier of facts, has had the benefit of actually seeing and hearing the persons involved, and of assessing the reliability of what they have said. For that reason, such a body is entitled to considerable deference. The Tribunal will only interfere if there is manifest error in OIOS’s decision to close the complainant’s complaint as unsubstantiated because its assessment was unable to corroborate his allegation of harassment (see, for example, Judgment 4291, consideration 12). In the present case, the Tribunal finds that on the evidence which was before OIOS at the material time it could reasonably have concluded that the complainant’s allegation of harassment was not corroborated. The Tribunal further finds that in the absence of manifest error vitiating OIOS’s conclusion, OIOS did not breach applicable procedure by determining that an investigation was not warranted.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 4291