Judgment No. 3838
1. The decision of 18 February 2014 is set aside.
2. UNESCO shall pay the complainant compensation under all heads in the amount of 12,000 United States dollars.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to terminate his appointment.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; termination of employment
Article VII, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Tribunal provides that, to be receivable, a complaint must have been filed within 90 days of the complainant being notified of the decision impugned. As the Tribunal has repeatedly stated, this time limit is an objective matter of fact and the Tribunal will not entertain a complaint filed after it has expired. 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 the time bar (see Judgments 3304, under 2, 3393, under 1, 3467, under 2, and 3559, under 3).
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 2, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3304, 3393, 3467, 3559
As the Tribunal has consistently held, it is for the organisation issuing and communicating the impugned decision to establish the date of receipt by the addressee. It may be that it is impossible to prove this, for example because the mode of delivery does not allow the date of receipt to be ascertained. If such is the case, the Tribunal will ordinarily accept the addressee’s account concerning the date of receipt unless what she or he says is patently implausible. Thus, a complaint will be deemed to have been filed within the time limit if it was submitted within 90 days of the date of receipt indicated by the complainant (see Judgments 447, under 2, 456, under 7, 723, under 4, 930, under 8, 2473, under 4, and 2494, under 4).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 447, 456, 723, 930
It is a general principle of international civil service law that there must be a valid reason for the non-renewal of any contract, and the official must be informed of that reason explicitly in a decision against which she or he can appeal. This principle also applies to the non-renewal of a fixed-term appointment which, under the staff regulations or by agreement between the parties, ends automatically upon its expiry. This approach is justified by the fact that international organisations frequently resort to fixed-term contracts and the fact that the legitimate career expectations of those entering the service of these organisations would otherwise be denied.
It follows that an official who holds a fixed-term contract that automatically ends upon expiry must be informed of the true reasons for not renewing that contract and must receive reasonable notice thereof (see for example Judgments 1154, under 4, 1544, under 11, 1983, under 6, 3368, under 11, and 3582, under 11).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1154, 1544, 1983, 3368, 3582
general principle; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract
The contested decision does not fulfil this requirement to provide reasons. It is true that the complainant received from the Organization a memorandum reminding him that his limited duration appointment would end on the date initially specified and giving him information on the administrative formalities to be completed before he left. However, the memorandum contains no indication of the reasons why the Organization was adhering strictly to the specified departure date, such as a reference to the fact that the duties for which the appointment had been made had come to an end, or to the fact that it was not possible to assign him to other duties.
non-renewal of contract; motivation
Although, having regard to all the circumstances, the complainant could have little hope of his appointment being renewed, it cannot be said that his chances of obtaining a renewal were nil.
loss of opportunity; renewal of contrat