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Judgment No. 2643


1. The decision of the Secretary-General of the ITU, conveyed to the complainant on 15 May 2006, is set aside.
2. The case is referred back to the ITU.
3. The Union shall pay the complainant 3,000 Swiss francs in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.

Consideration 6


The complainant, a British national, entered into a "Civil Solidarity Contract" (PACS) under French law with his same-sex partner and had his partnership registered under the Civil Partnership Act applicable to British citizens. The ITU refused to recognise his partner as his dependent spouse for determination of the benefits pertaining to that status. "The Tribunal has accepted in several recent judgments that same-sex marriages (see Judgment 2590) and unions taking the form of 'registered partnerships' must be recognised where the national legislation applicable to the staff member concerned allows persons who have contracted such unions to be treated as 'spouses' (see Judgments 2549 and 2550). The important difference between the present case and those previously decided lies in the fact that the ITU Staff Regulations and Staff Rules explicitly define the concept of spouses as denoting husband and wife in a large number of provisions, and that, contrary to the situations examined in Judgments 2549 and 2550, the ITU refuses to accept that same-sex unions lawfully contracted under the national legislation of the official concerned may be taken into consideration for the purpose of applying the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules. It follows that the defendant was not wrong in asserting that, in the light of the case law and the applicable Regulations and Rules as they currently stand, the Secretary-General was barred from giving the term 'spouse' the broad interpretation requested."


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2549, 2550, 2590


marital status; judgment of the tribunal; applicable law; case law; written rule; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; enforcement; interpretation; provision; family allowance; dependant; social benefits; definition; difference; purpose; refusal; same-sex marriage

Last updated: 17.08.2020 ^ top