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Judgment No. 3432


1. The EPO shall pay the complainant 15,000 euros by way of moral damages.
2. The EPO shall pay the complainant material damages in the sum of 30,000 euros.
3. The EPO shall pay the complainant an additional sum of 2,000 euros for the delay in the internal appeal.
4. The EPO shall pay the complainant 4,000 euros costs.
5. All other claims are dismissed.


The complainant alleges that the EPO breached its duty of care towards him and successfully impugns the decision to award him a compensation which he considers inadequate.

Judgment keywords


complaint allowed; work appraisal; probationary period; termination of employment; residence permit

Consideration 3


The complainant’s brief (without annexures) in the proceedings before the Tribunal comprises three pages. It is, at times, expressed in inappropriately colourful language. The brief effectively adopts the documented argument of the complainant in the internal appeal (a practice the Tribunal does not approve of) [...].


procedure before the tribunal; complaint; formal requirements; submissions

Consideration 10


While the jurisprudence of the Tribunal militates against the conclusive interpretation of an agreement such as the 1977 Seat Agreement (see for example Judgment 1182, under 6) with a view to determining the rights and obligations of the parties under such an agreement, it does not follow that the duty of care of the international organisation bound by such an agreement cannot be measured by reference to the possibly if not probably correct interpretation. As the EPO quite properly and appropriately notes in its reply, the jurisprudence of this Tribunal holds that an international organisation can, in appropriate cases, “employ its own considerable power and authority and influence to have the [national] authorities change their position” (see Judgment 2032, consideration 17).


ILOAT Judgment(s): 1182, 2032


headquarters agreement; interpretation

Consideration 11


[T]he EPO should not have simply given effect to the approach of the Dutch authorities in relation to the rights of individuals who were both EPO employees and Dutch nationals. As just noted, it was highly arguable that the approach of the Dutch authorities was wrong. Accordingly, the EPO breached its duty of care to the complainant in simply advising him to follow the IND process, which plainly involved a bureaucratic pathway that was considerably less straightforward than the issuance of an identity card. The EPO should not have given this advice without having first, on the complainant’s behalf at least, pressed the Dutch authorities to issue his children with identity cards and to have done so by reference to the 1977 Seat Agreement.


headquarters agreement; privileges and immunities; duty of care

Last updated: 11.06.2020 ^ top