Judgment No. 2271
1. The decision of the President of the Office of 9 August 2002 is set aside.
2. The Organisation shall pay the complainant token damages of one euro.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
"The confidential nature of medical information concerning the state of health of staff members constitutes a key element of their right to privacy. It is no doubt both necessary and legitimate for an international organisation, like any employer, to investigate requests for sick leave, to examine medical certificates and to have the health of its staff members checked by appropriate means. Such information should be gathered and processed on a fully confidential basis, however, and should never be communicated to third parties without the explicit consent of the person concerned. [...] The fact that the members of the Appeals Committee are bound by an obligation of confidentiality does not mean that information covered by medical secrecy can be disclosed to them without the consent of the persons concerned."
internal appeals body; confidential evidence; communication to third party; organisation's duties; medical certificate; medical records; sick leave; lack of consent; right to privacy