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Organisation's duties

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Keywords: Organisation's duties
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  • Judgment 2461


    99th Session, 2005
    European Southern Observatory
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 1 to 3

    Extract:

    ESO considers that the complainant's internal appeal is not receivable according to Article R VI 1.02 of the Staff Regulations since he is no longer a staff member.
    "The organisation is correct. The Staff Regulations do not give him any right of internal appeal. [...] The complainant alleges a contradiction between ESO's Staff Rules and Regulations [...] and Article VII(1) and (2) of the Tribunal's Statute. In fact, the language of the Tribunal's Statute does not specifically require the organisation to provide specific internal remedies, it only requires that those actually existing be exhausted."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT reference: Article VII(1) and (2) of the Tribunal's Statute
    Organization rules reference: Article R VI 1.02 of ESO's Staff Regulations

    Keywords:

    iloat statute; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; international civil servant; organisation; organisation's duties; provision; receivability; right; separation from service; staff regulations and rules; status of complainant;



  • Judgment 2458


    99th Session, 2005
    United Nations Industrial Development Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 3 and 7

    Extract:

    In Judgment 2189 the Tribunal ordered the Organization to "appoint a medical board without delay". The complainant filed an application for execution of that judgment. "Once again, the complainant attempts to bypass the internal remedies, and have her internal appeal, which has been pending for over ten years, heard by the Tribunal on its merits. To do so, she would have to persuade the Tribunal that the failure of the medical board to take up and report on her claim and thereby allow her internal appeal to proceed was due to the wilful fault or neglect of UNIDO. [But] it is clear that [...] by July 2003, the necessary preliminary steps to set up the medical board had been taken and that the delays which took place after that time were largely due to the complainant herself. [...]
    The obligation imposed on the Organization by Judgment 2189 to establish a medical board without delay is not wholly a one-way street. The complainant owes a duty of good faith and in the circumstances this includes not only the duty not to impede or prevent the medical board's functioning [...] but also the duty actively to collaborate with the board and to allow it to undertake its duties effectively. If the complainant had reservations about the terms of reference of the board she no doubt had the right to make them known as she did, but she could not insist on them as non-negotiable conditions precedent to the board carrying out its inquiry."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2189

    Keywords:

    advisory opinion; application for execution; appointment; breach; collective bargaining; complainant; condition; delay; execution; good faith; internal appeal; judgment; judicial review; liability; medical board; misconduct; negligence; order; organisation; organisation's duties; procedure; request; right; staff member's duties; time limit;



  • Judgment 2456


    99th Session, 2005
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 9 and 11

    Extract:

    The complainant joined the Organisation in January 1998 under a fixed-term appointment. His contract, which was extended in 2003, was due to expire on 14 June 2004; it was not renewed due to the implementation of the seven-year tenure rule. He has produced before the Tribunal a document signed by the Director-General containing data about his performance, in which his date of entry on duty was incorrectly shown as 24 May 1997. He contends that the Director-General relied on that data in deciding not to renew his contract. "Since in the implementation of its policy the Organisation was said to be applying a 'first in, first out' rule, an error of over seven months in the calculation of any employee's length of service may be of critical importance. That is especially the case where such apparent error has the effect of indicating wrongly that the employee would at the time of his separation from the Organisation have served more than seven years. The Tribunal considers the alleged errors of fact to be material. [...] The non-renewal decision must be set aside and the Organisation shall be ordered to pay to the complainant the full balance of salary and benefits to which he would have been entitled if he had received a one-year extension of his contract to 14 June 2005. The complainant must account for any earnings from other employment during that period."

    Keywords:

    allowance; appointment; complaint allowed; consequence; contract; date; decision; decision quashed; duration of appointment; enforcement; extension; fixed-term; general principle; international civil servant; material error; mistake of fact; non-renewal; organisation's duties; period; reckoning; right; salary; staff member's duties; written rule;



  • Judgment 2450


    99th Session, 2005
    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    "[T]here is no rule or general principle that obliges an international organisation to reimburse its staff for taxes payable outside the host country pursuant to legislation which is not that of the host country."

    Keywords:

    applicable law; domestic law; general principle; headquarters; organisation; organisation's duties; refund; staff regulations and rules; tax;



  • Judgment 2440


    99th Session, 2005
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 8 and 9

    Extract:

    An international organisation cannot presume that a staff member participated in industrial action, and withold part of his/her salary, if it does not have proof of his/her participation in the collective actions.

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; deduction; entitlement for service rendered; evidence; organisation's duties; participation; salary; strike;



  • Judgment 2427


    99th Session, 2005
    European Organization for Nuclear Research
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 4

    Extract:

    "[T]he vacancy notice stipulated: «Good knowledge of English or French; basic knowledge of the other language or an understanding to acquire it rapidly». The complainant denies that the importance of acquiring rapidly a basic knowledge of French was clearly explained to him, but his denial fails to take into account that even the vacancy notice was unambiguous in that regard. The Tribunal finds, from the evidence on file, that he was sufficiently warned, at the beginning of his probation period and later on, about the language requirements for his post. It is clear, and the complainant admits, that his knowledge of French did not improve enough to enable him to participate in meetings, right to the end of his probation period. That alone constitutes sufficient cause for his negative end-of-probation report. Such cause, and the resulting termination of his appointment, could not possibly have surprised him."

    Keywords:

    consequence; duty to inform; grounds; knowledge of languages; non-renewal; organisation's duties; probation; probation report; staff member's duties; termination; vacancy notice;



  • Judgment 2424


    98th Session, 2005
    European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 3

    Extract:

    "In accordance with its case law (see Judgment 941 in particular), the Tribunal considers that the defendant may not plead its own failure to act with regard to the complainant, who had good reason to infer that her internal complaint was still under review since she had been informed [...] that the Joint Committee for Disputes had reached an opinion of which she would soon be informed."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 941

    Keywords:

    case law; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; good faith; internal appeal; internal appeals body; organisation's duties; reasonable time; receivability; report; time limit;



  • Judgment 2420


    98th Session, 2005
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    "The complainants' second plea is that the methodology applied by the General Assembly [to review salary levels] does not satisfy the requirements of stability, foreseeability and transparency established by the case law. [...] Given that the application of that methodology can yield results as different as those obtained, on the one hand, by the ICSC, and on the other, by the Fifth Committee and subsequently the General Assembly, one may legitimately query its foreseeability. However, it must be borne in mind that a methodology cannot be applied without a degree of flexibility and without leaving some room for interpretation by the competent authority, which was entitled to take into account the imbalances generated by past applications of the adopted methodology in order to try to attenuate the effects thereof and properly to implement the Noblemaire principle."

    Keywords:

    adjustment; case law; icsc decision; interpretation; noblemaire principle; organisation's duties; rate; recommendation; salary; scale;

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    "The Tribunal has on numerous occasions ruled on the issue of whether an international organisation is bound to comply with general provisions that would infringe the rights of its staff members. The fact that an international organisation belongs to the common system does not enable it to decline or limit its own responsibility towards the members of its staff or lessen the degree of judicial protection it owes them. Any organisation that introduces elements of the common system into its own rules has a duty to ensure that the texts it thereby imports are lawful (on this issue, see Judgment 1265, which refers to Judgments 382 and 825; for more recent examples concerning the duties of the FAO, see Judgments 1713 and 2303). Whilst the Tribunal fully appreciates the difficulties - emphasised by the defendant - that international organisations are liable to face in departing from the salary scales adopted on the basis of ICSC recommendations, it is nevertheless bound to ensure that international law is observed in the relations between the said organisations and their staff, regardless of the external authority from which the decisions taken emanate. Indeed, the case of an organisation having to revise salary scales resulting from recommendations or decisions affecting the common system, whether or not pursuant to a ruling by the competent tribunal, is not without precedent."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 382, 825, 1265, 1713, 2303

    Keywords:

    adjustment; case law; criteria; decision-maker; icsc decision; liability; organisation's duties; recommendation; right; rule of another organisation; salary; scale;



  • Judgment 2414


    98th Session, 2005
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 23

    Extract:

    "In Judgment 2170 the Tribunal described the requirement of Staff Rule 12.1.5 that an annual performance report be established prior to the scheduled date of a salary increment as 'a formal one' which had to be complied with. It is important to explain why that was so. A staff member whose service is not considered satisfactory is entitled to be informed in a timely manner as to the unsatisfactory aspects of his or her service so that steps can be taken to remedy the situation. Moreover, he or she is entitled to have objectives set in advance so that he or she will know the yardstick by which future performance will be assessed. These are fundamental aspects of the duty of an international organisation to act in good faith towards its staff members and to respect their dignity. That is why it was said in Judgment 2170 that an organisation must 'conduct its affairs in a way that allows its employees to rely on the fact that [its rules] will be followed'."

    Reference(s)

    Organization rules reference: Staff Rule 12.1.5 of the ITU
    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2170

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; criteria; due process; duty to inform; good faith; increase; increment; interpretation; organisation's duties; output; patere legem; performance report; respect for dignity; salary; satisfactory service; staff regulations and rules; time limit; unsatisfactory service; work appraisal;



  • Judgment 2411


    98th Session, 2005
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    "It is not acceptable that the Administration has attempted to upgrade its practice to the status of law when the law itself says nothing of the sort; nor can the practice of an organisation be invoked to deny its officials their written rights."

    Keywords:

    applicable law; complaint allowed; organisation's duties; practice; right; written rule;



  • Judgment 2408


    98th Session, 2005
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 23

    Extract:

    "[T]he decision not to renew her contract was not taken in implementation of the staff turnover policy [but] to rid the OPCW of the serious personal and professional conflict that existed between two senior members of the Secretariat and to avoid the necessity of taking steps to resolve that conflict. That was an improper purpose and to take a decision for that reason under cover of implementation of the staff turnover policy is both an abuse of authority and an act which demonstrates want of good faith."

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; contract; decision; good faith; grounds; misuse of authority; non-renewal; organisation's duties; purpose; working relations;



  • Judgment 2406


    98th Session, 2005
    International Labour Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 14

    Extract:

    "[T]he defendant is right to point out that the complainant held only fixed-term expert's contracts [and] that he had no right to renewal [...]. Nevertheless, the decision not to renew his contract should be based on valid reasons."

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; contract; decision; duty to substantiate decision; fixed-term; grounds; non-renewal; organisation's duties; right;



  • Judgment 2403


    98th Session, 2005
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 16

    Extract:

    "It is not in doubt that an international organisation is under an obligation to take proper measures to protect its staff members from physical injury occurring in the course of their employment. The same is true with respect to loss of or damage to their personal property. As a matter of principle, the same must be true of financial loss suffered in the course of their employment. Particularly is that so where, as here, the loss is directly associated with compulsory participation in a fund established by the organisation and managed in accordance with rules which limit the participants' rights with respect to that fund."

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; deficiency payment; liability; lump-sum; material injury; organisation's duties; participation; pension; provident fund; right; working conditions;



  • Judgment 2396


    98th Session, 2005
    Universal Postal Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 4

    Extract:

    "Any administrative or disciplinary body of an organisation which consults a third party to obtain information concerning the professional behaviour of one of its staff members must naturally avoid impairing the latter's dignity and reputation. In the first place, it absolutely must ensure that the presumption of his innocence is maintained, and if its action is such as to breach the presumption of innocence or the fundamental rights of the staff member, making that action confidential is of no avail."

    Keywords:

    breach; communication to third party; confidential evidence; disciplinary procedure; executive body; international civil servant; moral injury; organisation's duties; qualifications; respect for dignity; right;



  • Judgment 2394


    98th Session, 2005
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    The complainant's appointment was terminated. "[I]t emerges quite clearly from the file that the irregularities committed [...], the careless way the Organization advertised the complainant's post before he had even had a chance to comment on the termination of his contract, and the way it admitted the unlawfulness of the termination notified on 29 August 2001 [...] only in a decision of 28 June 2003 notified to the complainant on 17 July 2003, severely harmed the complainant's legitimate interests and impaired his dignity." He is therefore entitled to a compensation for the financial and moral damage he incurred.

    Keywords:

    acceptance; allowance; competition; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; date of notification; delay; flaw; injury; material injury; misconduct; moral injury; organisation; post; respect for dignity; right; right to reply; staff member's interest; termination;



  • Judgment 2392


    98th Session, 2005
    International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    The complainant was not selected for a post. She contends that IFAD has not informed her of the reasons for rejecting her application. "[T]he evidence shows that, at best, the complainant was given only partial and incomplete oral reasons for the failure to give her preference, long after the internal appeal proceedings had been exhausted and the complaint to the Tribunal instituted. If reasons for a non-selection decision are to have any use at all they must be given in time for an unsuccessful candidate to decide what, if any, recourse should be sought. Here, they were not and the plea is well founded."

    Keywords:

    appointment; candidate; competition; complainant; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; delay; duty to inform; duty to substantiate decision; grounds; internal appeal; post; procedure; refusal; time limit;

    Consideration 6

    Extract:

    The complainant submits that the internal appeal procedure took far too long. "To this the Fund makes two replies: first, that the complainant implicitly accepted the delays because she did not appeal directly to the Tribunal once she had decided that matters were dragging before the Joint Appeals Board; secondly, that a large part of the delay was due to the JAB itself [...]. Neither argument is persuasive. It is true that according to the case law a complainant may come directly to the Tribunal when the internal procedure takes too long (see Judgment 2196 and the cases cited therein), but the fact that a complainant does not take advantage of this cannot be held against him or her. Likewise, whether the delay was due to IFAD's tardiness (as a very large part of it clearly was) or to the malfunctioning of the JAB is simply irrelevant in light of the organisation's duty to provide to the members of its staff an efficient internal means of redress. The complainant is entitled to damages. (See Judgments 2072 and 2197.)"

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2072, 2196, 2197

    Keywords:

    acceptance; administrative delay; case law; cause; complainant; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; damages; delay; direct appeal to tribunal; grounds; internal appeal; internal appeals body; international civil servant; organisation's duties; procedure; right; time limit;



  • Judgment 2391


    98th Session, 2005
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    The complainant was issued a written censure. "Before the Appeal Board, [he] argued that [this] decision [...] was taken in breach of the principle of proportionality. In its report, the Board recommended that the parties seek a compromise solution in the light of that principle. [T]he Secretary-General did not follow the recommendation of the Appeal Board [...]. He was therefore under an obligation to state the reasons why he was disregarding that recommendation and instead maintaining the initial sanction, which is the second most serious, particularly so as to enable the Tribunal to check whether the principle of proportionality had been observed (see Judgment 2339, under 5). As the Secretary-General has not satisfied that obligation, his decision [...] must be set aside on the grounds that no reason has been given for the chosen sanction and the case must be referred back to him for a new decision."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2339

    Keywords:

    breach; case sent back to organisation; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; consequence; decision quashed; disciplinary measure; duty to substantiate decision; executive head; general principle; internal appeals body; judicial review; organisation's duties; proportionality; recommendation; refusal; report; settlement out of court; warning;



  • Judgment 2381


    98th Session, 2005
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 3

    Extract:

    "[I]t is essential that both salaries and pensions be paid punctually and in full, if only on account of the precise commitments which beneficiaries may have to honour at the end or the beginning of each month. It would be unacceptable for the Tribunal, when dealing with a complaint of this kind, to take shelter - as the defendant has suggested - behind the principle of de minimis non curat praetor in order to dismiss the matter because it concerns apparently trifling amounts. That would be conceivable only if the Statute of the Tribunal included a provision whereby cases were subject to a prior selection process according to the magnitude of the interests at stake, which is not the case."

    Keywords:

    amount; complaint; date; grounds; iloat statute; organisation's duties; payment; pension; procedure; provision; salary;



  • Judgment 2373


    97th Session, 2004
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    After the decision not to renew his contract the complainant was placed on special leave with full pay until the end of the contract and his access to the building was withdrawn. When he went to the OPCW's premises in order to hand in his request for review, he was escorted at all times by a security officer. The complainant considered this treatment to be an affront to his dignity. "Without in any way denying that the OPCW, like many other international organisations, must be vigilant about matters of internal security, the Tribunal notes that neither in the impugned decision nor in its reply does the Organisation give any explanation as to why it was thought necessary to treat the complainant in such a humiliating manner. Except in the most urgent cases, the requirements of security can almost always be fully met while still respecting the rights and dignity of individuals. This is especially so where [...] there is no breach of discipline involved and the person concerned has for many years occupied a position of trust to the Organisation's apparent complete satisfaction. [...] The Tribunal assesses [the moral] damages at 10,000 euros [...]."

    Keywords:

    assignment; breach; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; contract; grounds; injury; moral injury; non-renewal; organisation; organisation's duties; reply; respect for dignity; right; salary; satisfactory service; special leave;



  • Judgment 2371


    97th Session, 2004
    International Labour Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 14

    Extract:

    One of the complainant's subordinates submitted a grievance for moral harassment against him. The Ombudsperson circulated her report thereby disclosing the accusations against the complainant to persons who were not entitled to be informed of them. "The Tribunal acknowledges the efforts made by the Office, as is its duty, to protect the reputation of a staff member (see, for example, Judgment 1619). But it notes that the defendant was under no obligation to seek the complainant's agreement as to the form and the terms of the communication to be sent to the recipients of the Ombudsperson's report and to those who subsequently indicated publicly that they had had knowledge of the report's conclusions. The Tribunal will not issue any injunction in this respect, but will leave it to the defendant to inform the recipients of the Ombudsperson's report, through whatever channels it deems appropriate, that it was regrettable that the report, which should have remained confidential and which concerns persons who were entitled to the protection of that confidentiality, should have been unlawfully circulated, which was all the more serious for the fact that some of its content was defamatory."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1619

    Keywords:

    advisory body; claim; communication to third party; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; confidential evidence; discretion; harassment; internal appeals body; international civil servant; organisation; organisation's duties; report; right; supervisor;

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    One of the complainant's subordinates submitted a grievance for moral harassment against him. The Ombudsperson circulated her report thereby disclosing the accusations against the complainant to persons who were not entitled to be informed of them. "Had this report been seen only by the persons entitled to receive it, it might not have injured the complainant's reputation, given that it was issued by an authority of the Organization which had no power of decision. However, as pointed out above, the whole of the report was communicated to persons who were not entitled to see it and there is no doubt that this disclosure, which was contrary to the obligation of confidentiality by which the Ombudsperson is bound pursuant to Article 13.15, paragraph 9, of the Staff Regulations, caused the complainant injury warranting compensation, even though the report was circulated 'on a confidential basis'."

    Reference(s)

    Organization rules reference: Article 13.15, paragraph 9, of the Staff Regulations

    Keywords:

    advisory body; breach; communication to third party; compensation; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; confidential evidence; harassment; injury; internal appeals body; international civil servant; moral injury; organisation's duties; report; request; staff regulations and rules; supervisor;

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Last updated: 06.05.2015 ^ top