Judgment No. 3132
The complaint is dismissed.
receivability of the complaint; late filing; complaint dismissed
Since the case concerns only a question of law, the Tribunal sees no need to order hearings. The complainant's application for hearings is therefore rejected.
As the Tribunal held in Judgment 456, under 2, the purpose of Article VII, paragraph 3, of its Statute is twofold. Firstly, it enables an official to defend his or her interests by going to the Tribunal when the Administrative has failed to take a decision. Secondly, it prevents a dispute from dragging on indefinitely and from coming before the Tribunal at a time when the material have altered or can no longer be determined with certainty. This would undermine the necessary stability of the parties' legal relations, which is the very justification for a time bar. As pointed out in Judgment 2901, under 8, it follows from the twin purposes that, if the Administrative fails to take a decision on a claim within sixty days, the person submitting it not only can, but must refer the matter to the Tribunal within the following ninety days, i.e. within 150 days of his or her claim being received by the organisation, otherwise his or her complaint will be irreceivable. In the present case, the 150 days mentionned above expired at the latest in mid to late June 2008. The complainant did not receive any response to her claim within sixty days of her sending the letter of 12 January 2008; this is not in dispute. Therefore, she had a further ninety days to refer the matter to the Tribunal on the basis of an implied decision rejecting her grievances. In some cases, even a response received subsequently can be considered as nullifying and replacing the implied decision. However, neither letters from the Agency responding to the complainant can be considered as an administrative decision which would nullify and replace the implied decision rejecting her grievances outlined in her letter of 12 January 2008. It is clear that they did not contain any expression of will on the part of the Agency to allow the complainant to use the internal mechanisms she chose not to use at the time she left the service of the Agency. Instead, the first letter limited itself to informing her that she had far exceeded the time limit for bringing formal grievances against the Agency and the second letter merely stated that the information contained in the first letter was still valid. That being so, the 150-day time limit mentionned above has expired and the complaint must be considered irreceivable and therefore be dismissed.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 456, 2901
direct appeal to tribunal; time bar; late filing