Judgment No. 3923
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision of the Chair of the Appeal Board to dismiss as time-barred his internal appeal against the non-confirmation of his appointment and his separation while on sick leave.
receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; late appeal; complaint dismissed
In his decision, the Chair of the Appeal Board referred to the Tribunalís consistent case law that time limits are an objective matter of fact, which guarantee legal certainty for the parties and the Tribunal. The Chair of the Appeal Board referred to Judgment 2266, considerations 2 and 3, and Judgment 2901, consideration 11. This case law is fully reproduced in a recent restatement made in Judgment 3651, considerations 5 and 6:
ď5. In Judgment 3311, considerations 5 and 6, the Tribunal reiterated that the time limits for internal appeal procedures serve the important purposes of ensuring that disputes are dealt with in a timely way and the rights of parties are known to be settled at a particular point of time. The Tribunal relevantly rationalized this approach in the following terms: time limits are an objective matter of fact and strict adherence to them is necessary, otherwise the efficacy of the whole system of administrative and judicial review of decisions potentially adversely affecting the staff of international organisations would be put at risk. Flexibility about time limits should not intrude into the Tribunalís decision-making even if it might be thought to be equitable or fair in a particular case to allow some flexibility. To do otherwise would Ďimpair the necessary stability of the partiesí legal relationsí (see Judgment 2722, consideration 3). However, there are some exceptions to this general approach, which have been expressed in the Tribunalís case law.
Additionally, however, [the relevant provision] provides that the Appeals Committee may consider an appeal that has been filed out of time to be receivable if it finds that the failure to abide by the time-limit was for a reason that was outside of the complainantís control and the length of the delay in filing was reasonable in the circumstances of the case. [...]"
internal remedies exhausted; late appeal