Judgment No. 2278
1. The impugned decision is set aside.
2. The President is directed to take all necessary steps to acknowledge the complainant's right to reside in Essen (Belgium).
3. The Organisation shall pay the complainant 300 euros in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
"As the titular head of the very administration whose conduct is being called into question, the President of the Office must be scrupulous in the performance of his function as final decision-maker in internal appeals. It is his duty not only to be fair and objective; his conduct must also make it manifest that he has been so. It is not enough to state, as the President appears to do in the impugned decision, that he thinks the administration has put forward the better case. That is not a reason but a conclusion. The internal appellate process is designed and intended to provide fair, satisfactory and rapid resolution of staff grievances in international organisations."
decision; duty to substantiate decision; internal appeal; organisation's duties; executive head; bias; purpose; safeguard
"The complainant here is unrepresented. While the employment of a legally trained advisor is not a requirement and is no guarantee that a case will be well presented, the complainant's written pleadings are repetitive and contain largely unhelpful personal attacks on the member of the legal department who wrote the [Organisation]'s pleadings. They also contain unfounded and insulting comments about the EPO to which the latter properly objects. The Tribunal will limit the award of costs to 300 euros."
complaint; costs; rejoinder; reply; counsel
[T]he Tribunal has repeatedly stressed the necessity for administrative decisions to be properly supported by reasons. That is especially the case where, after an elaborate internal appeal procedure in which each side has filed extensive and detailed pleadings, the executive head of an international organisation, acting in a quasi judicial capacity and as the penultimate arbiter of disputes between the administration and the staff, decides not to accept the recommendation of the internal appellate body. In Judgment 2092, under 10, the Tribunal said:
"When the executive head of an organisation accepts and adopts the recommendations of an internal appeal body he is under no obligation to give any further reasons than those given by the appeal body itself. Where, however, [...] he rejects those recommendations his duty to give reasons is not fulfilled by simply saying that he does not agree with the appeal body."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2092
duty to substantiate decision