Judgment No. 2656
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant submits that the disciplinary measure imposed on him lacks proportionality. "In this respect, it may be noted that lack of proportionality is to be treated as an error of law warranting the setting aside of a disciplinary measure even though a decision in that regard is discretionary in nature (see Judgments 203 and 1445). In determining whether disciplinary action is disproportionate to the offence, both objective and subjective features are to be taken into account and, in the case of dismissal, the closest scrutiny is necessary (see Judgment 937)."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 203, 937, 1445
exception; decision quashed; proportionality; breach; termination of employment; misconduct; disciplinary measure; judicial review; discretion
The complainant was accused of having deliberately made false allegations of misconduct against other staff members. At the end of the disciplinary procedure he was dismissed for serious misconduct. "[A]lthough it is not correct to equate deliberate falsehood with reckless indifference to the truth in all circumstances, the nature of the allegations may be such that there is little, if any, room for difference in the consequent sanction. The more serious the allegation, the greater is the need for care. In the present case the allegations were indeed serious, and were of a kind which, in the absence of cogent evidence, should never have been made. That being so, there was no error in this case in equating the appropriate sanction for reckless indifference with that for deliberate falsehood. The complainant showed a callous disregard for the feelings of the persons concerned and a lack of judgement that was wholly incompatible with the standards of conduct required of an international civil servant. In the circumstances, these matters do not warrant a finding that the disciplinary action was disproportionate to the conduct in question."
liability; lack of evidence; respect for dignity; proportionality; written rule; breach; termination of employment; misconduct; serious misconduct; staff member's duties; conduct; freedom of speech; working relations; disciplinary measure; disciplinary procedure; official