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Judgment No. 3602


1. The impugned decision of 21 January 2013 is set aside to the extent that it found that summary dismissal was a proportionate sanction.
2. The matter is remitted to the WTO for the Director-General to make a new decision on the complainantís case having regard to the Tribunalís findings in considerations 23 to 27.
3. The WTO shall pay the complainant 12,000 euros in moral damages.
4. It shall also pay him 4,000 euros in costs.
5. All other claims are dismissed.


The complainant, a former employee of the WTO, contests the Director-Generalís decision to summarily dismiss him for serious misconduct.

Judgment keywords


complaint allowed; decision quashed; case sent back to organisation; misconduct; summary dismissal

Considerations 25 and 27


The Tribunal considers that in the particular circumstances the WTO had a duty of care towards the complainant that went beyond the mere statement that he had not established that his illness was responsible for his behaviour. That duty required the WTO to seek further medical advice concerning the complainant's medical condition that would have assisted it to have made a more informed assessment of a causal connection and consequential decision in the matter. This assessment should also have been weighed in determining proportionality. Having not done so, the impugned decision was unlawful [.]
[T]he impugned decision must be set aside to the extent that it found that summary dismissal was a proportionate sanction. The matter will be remitted to the WTO for reconsideration.


case sent back to organisation; proportionality; medical fitness; disciplinary measure

Consideration 22


The Tribunal has stated, in Judgment 210, for example, that even in a case in which serious misconduct is alleged, staff rules provide a wide range of penalties and it is therefore necessary to apply the principle of proportionality to ensure that the extreme penalty of summary dismissal is applied only in the gravest cases. Thus the following was stated in Judgment 210, under 6:
ď[W]hen these mitigating factors are put into the scale together with the lack of any corrupt motive and the complainantís previous good record, they cause the sentence of summary dismissal to appear out of all proportion to the degree of misbehaviour in this case.Ē


ILOAT Judgment(s): 210


mitigating circumstances

Last updated: 10.11.2021 ^ top