Judgment No. 4145
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to transfer one of his subordinates to another team.
receivability of the complaint; cause of action; complaint dismissed
The principles of statutory interpretation are well settled in the case law. The primary rule is that words are to be given their obvious and ordinary meaning (see, for example, Judgments 3310, consideration 7, and 2276, consideration 4). Additionally, as the Tribunal stated in Judgment 3734, consideration 4, “[i]t is the obvious and ordinary meaning of the words in the provision that must be discerned and not just a phrase taken in isolation”.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2276, 3310, 3734
interpretation; interpretation of rules
The complainant’s assertion that as the decision “directly adversely affected” him and caused him injury, he has the requisite standing as stated in the case law to bring the present complaint is also unfounded. Article II of the Tribunal’s Statute has been interpreted to require that for a complaint to be receivable the staff member must have a cause of action and the impugned decision must be one that, by its nature, is subject to challenge. As the Tribunal explained in Judgment 3426, consideration 16, in addition to the requirement that the complainant must be an official of the defendant organization or other person as provided in paragraph 6 of the Article, paragraph 5 requires that a complaint “must relate to [a] decision involving the terms of a staff member’s appointment or the provisions of the Staff Regulations”. In Judgment 4048, consideration 5, the Tribunal elaborated that “to invoke the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, it must be a decision adversely affecting the complainant concerning either rights, privileges, obligations or duties arising under the provisions of staff regulations or the complainant’s terms of appointment” and that “[t]he complaint must allege non-observance of either or both (see Article II of the Tribunal’s Statute)”. As the complaint does not relate to a decision involving the complainant’s terms of appointment or the provisions of the EMBL’s Staff Rules and Regulations, it does not disclose a cause of action and is irreceivable.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3426, 4048
receivability of the complaint; cause of action; competence of tribunal; receivability ratione materiae