Judgment No. 2475
1. The Director-General's decision of 16 February 2004 and the earlier decision of the Regional Director of 1 October 2002 are set aside.
2. The complainant is reinstated with effect from 1 October 2002.
3. The WHO shall pay to the complainant the full balance of salary and other benefits he would have received but for his dismissal, together with interest at 8 per cent per annum from due dates.
4. The matter is remitted to the Director-General for him to determine what, if any, further action should be taken.
5. The WHO shall pay the complainant 30,000 United States dollars in moral damages.
6. It shall also pay the complainant's legal costs in the sum of 25,000 Swiss francs.
"It has been consistently held by the Tribunal that an employee of an international organisation has a right to be heard in disciplinary proceedings and, as said in Judgment 203, that 'right includes inter alia the opportunity to participate in the examination of the evidence'. As that judgment makes clear, that is so even 'in the absence of any explicit text'."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 203
organisation; disclosure of evidence; case law; adversarial proceedings; right to reply; no provision; disciplinary procedure; right; official
The complainant was dismissed on the grounds of misconduct following an investigation. "The procedure adopted in this case was clearly flawed in that the complainant was denied the opportunity to question any of the persons whose statements were used against him, evidence of little probative value was relied upon and, at least to some extent, he was required to prove his innocence instead of having the matters alleged proven against him. [...] It follows that the [...] decision [...] to dismiss the complainant must be set aside. The complainant shall be reinstated [...] and shall receive all arrears of salaries and other benefits; he must account for any earnings from other employment."
evidence; burden of proof; lack of evidence; testimony; inquiry; adversarial proceedings; breach; reinstatement; termination of employment; serious misconduct; staff member's duties; disciplinary measure; procedural flaw; consequence; investigation
"[T]he obligations of an employer to act in good faith and to respect the dignity of its employees determine what is permissible. In particular, these considerations require that an investigation be conducted in a manner designed to ascertain all relevant facts without compromising the good name of the employee and that the employee be given an opportunity to test the evidence put against him or her and to answer the charge made."
appraisal of evidence; inquiry; right to reply; good faith; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; condition; official; investigation