Judgment No. 3803
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant impugns the final decision of the EPO Administrative Council rejecting her request for review of the Council's decision CA/D 10/14.
summary procedure; complaint dismissed
“Article VII, paragraph 2, of the Tribunal’s Statute provides that ‘[t]o be receivable, a complaint must [...] have been filed within ninety days after the complainant was notified of the decision impugned’. As the Tribunal has repeatedly stated, for example in Judgments 602, 1106, 1466, 2463 and 2722, time limits are an objective matter of fact and it should not entertain a complaint filed out of time, because any other conclusion, even if founded on considerations of equity, would impair the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations, which is the very justification for a time bar. However, as stated in Judgment 3687, in consideration 10:
‘The case law also recognizes that in very limited circumstances an exception may be made to the rule of strict adherence to the relevant time limit. The circumstances identified in the case law are: ‘where the complainant has been prevented by vis major from learning of the impugned decision in good time or where the organisation, by misleading the complainant or concealing some paper from him or her so as to do him or her harm, has deprived that person of the possibility of exercising his or her right of appeal, in breach of the principle of good faith’ (see Judgment 3405, under 17; citations omitted); and ‘where some new and unforeseeable fact of decisive importance has occurred since the decision was taken, or where [the staff member concerned by that decision] is relying on facts or evidence of decisive importance of which he or she was not and could not have been aware before the decision was taken’ (see Judgment 3140, under 4; citations omitted).’”
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 2, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 602, 1106, 1466, 2463, 2722, 3140, 3405, 3687