Judgment No. 181
1. The decision of the Director-General of 19 October 1970 is quashed.
2. The case is referred back to the Director-General for a decision on the merits after reference to the Appeals Board.
"[T]he Director-General was at fault in ruling that the complainant's appeal to the Appeals Board was time-barred [...]. The decision impugned must accordingly be quashed." The case is referred back to the organization for a decision on the merits.
receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; tribunal; time bar; decision quashed; case sent back to organisation; further submissions on the merits; reply confined to receivability; refusal
If the time limit had expired, "the Director-General could indeed have refused to consider the complainant's protest. However, the ruling given [...] on his instructions makes no reference to the expiry of the time limit. Failure to observe a time limit laid down by the [applicable provision] is not [a flaw] which can be pleaded at a later stage in the procedure."
internal appeal; mistaken hearing of merits; time limit; time bar; flaw; procedural flaw
The date on which the appeal is despatched is the important one. "[I]n laying down that staff members must submit their appeal in writing to the [competent body] within 15 or 30 days, [the applicable provision] implies that the important one is that on which the appeal is despatched."
receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; time limit; interpretation; date