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Judgment No. 1734



Consideration 3(g)


"An organisation does have a duty to spare the staff member unnecessary injury and, if it sees a blatant procedural mistake, must, if possible, alert him to it."


procedure before the tribunal; injury; organisation's duties; duty to inform; staff member's interest

Consideration 3(e)


As was held in Judgment 1141 [...], under 18: "every official may be expected to know the requirements of the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules, wherever he may be stationed or resident";. Though not to be read out of context, that sentence does embody a basic principle: care may be expected of the staff member in finding out what the rules say and in abiding by them. There is not much risk of error and proper diligence will avoid what little there is.


duty to be informed; ignorance of the rules; duty to know the rules

Consideration 3


The observance of time limits is not an empty formality but essential to sound management. Only in exceptional cases may they be waived, namely when to demand strict compliance would cause a flagrant miscarriage of justice and good faith must instead prevail. Of course the rules of good faith apply to organisation and employee alike. It would be in bad faith for the organisation to make a staff member bear the consequences of any obscurity in the rules or in its dealings with him. Thus the Tribunal has often ruled that time limits and other procedural requirements should not set traps: see Judgments 522 [...], 607 [...], 873 [...], 1247 [...], 1317 [...], 1376 [...] and 1502 [...]. Likewise, good faith requires the staff member to pay due heed to the organisation's rules on such matters as dispute procedures. Written rules are there to be consulted and, if need be, the staff member may seek help from colleagues, from a staff association or from counsel in understanding them.


ILOAT Judgment(s): 522, 607, 873, 1247, 1317, 1376, 1502


claim; time limit

Last updated: 15.09.2021 ^ top