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Judgment No. 3608


The complaint is dismissed.


The complainant challenges the final administrative decision of the Director General by which he dismissed her internal appeal against the decision not to pay her moral damages for harassment and for injury to her dignity and reputation.

Judgment keywords


harassment; host state; complaint dismissed

Consideration 6


"Insofar as the complainant alleges a failure by the IAEA to investigate, it must be accepted that international organisations have a clear duty to investigate claims of harassment. The Tribunal has repeatedly said that this needs to be done and it is important that it be done (see, for example, Judgments 3413, under 10, 3365, under 26, 2910, under 13, 2973, under 16, and 2642, under 8). If there is a procedure for investigating claims of harassment in the applicable Staff Regulations or Staff Rules or guidelines, it should be followed.
In the complainant’s memorandum [...] claiming damages, she set out the conduct which justified the claim. She used the word “harassment” twice. On the first occasion she said “the staff members who were dealing with this matter inside the IAEA treated me in a manner which can only be interpreted as a tacit presumption of guilt and which at times verged on harassment”. To say that conduct at times verged on harassment does not involve a clear allegation of harassment and could not reasonably, in this case, be viewed as a claim of harassment which required investigation. Rather, it was, in a sense, an acceptance by the complainant that although the conduct of the staff members was, in her opinion, reprehensible it did not constitute harassment.
A staff member claiming harassment need not articulate the claim with the clarity or precision that might be expected of a lawyer drafting pleas. Any claim reasonably understood as raising an allegation of harassment must be investigated. However, that is not the position in this matter.
While the second reference to harassment in the memorandum was more direct, it almost certainly was a reference to the conduct of the Austrian authorities and not the officials of the IAEA. Accordingly, the IAEA has not breached its duty towards the complainant by failing to investigate an allegation of harassment."


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2642, 2910, 2973, 3365, 3413



Consideration 7


"The report of the JAB manifests a comprehensive and thoughtful consideration and evaluation of the evidence and whether any of the conduct about which the complainant is aggrieved can be characterised as harassment, a breach of the IAEA’s duty of care or as otherwise unlawful. It is now settled jurisprudence of the Tribunal that in some circumstances reports of internal appeal bodies warrant “considerable deference” (see, for example, Judgments 2295, consideration 10, and 3400, consideration 6)."


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2295, 3400


internal appeals body; report

Last updated: 02.06.2020 ^ top