Judgment No. 3291
1. The complaints are dismissed as irreceivable and the applications to intervene are also dismissed.
2. The withdrawal of suit by Messrs C., K., N., S. and S. is hereby recorded.
The Tribunal dismisses fifty-six similar complaints on the grounds that they are directed against general and not individual decisions.
Organization rules reference: Articles 77,80, 81 and 83 of the Service Regulations; Circular No. 82; Decisions CA/D 32/08, 27/08, 14/08, 13/09, 28/09, 22/09, 7/10
procedure before the tribunal; decision; general decision; individual decision; joinder; receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; competence; internal appeal; same cause of action; same purpose; general principle; advisory opinion; effect; complaint dismissed
With regard to the parallel appeals, [the Tribunal] notes that in accordance with a general principle of law, a person cannot simultaneously submit the same matter for decision in more than one proceeding.
duplication of proceedings
The Tribunal notes that allowing a complaint against a general decision which does not directly and immediately affect the
complainant but which may have a direct negative effect on her/him in the future, would cause an unreasonable restriction of the right of defence, as staff members would then have to impugn immediately all general decisions which may have any connection with their future interests, on the basis that a general decision which is not challenged within the established time becomes immune from challenge. On this approach, once a general decision is considered immune, any complaint impugning the subsequent decision implementing it could not challenge the lawfulness of the underlying general decision. Considering this, the Tribunal is of the opinion that the approach illustrated by the recent case law (Judgments 2822 and 3146) is to be followed. According to that case law, a complainant can impugn a decision only if it directly affects her/him, and cannot impugn a general decision unless and until it is applied in a manner prejudicial to her/him, but she/he is not prevented from challenging the lawfulness of the general decision when impugning the implementing decision which has generated their cause of action.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2822, 3146
general decision; cause of action