Judgment No. 4178
1. The FAO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the sum of 4,000 euros.
2. The FAO shall pay the complainant costs in the amount of 500 euros.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision not to grant him a promotion in the 2014 professional promotion exercise.
complaint allowed; promotion
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”. The meaning of the phrase “are expected to” read in the context of the complete text of the provision simply conveys to the Regional Directors what they are to do at that point in the process. The provision instructs the Regional Directors to do two things. First, the Regional Directors are to rank the reviewed candidates in order of priority. Second, the Regional Directors are to endorse the recommendation of “no more than” 50% of the candidates reviewed at the second level. The obvious and ordinary meaning of this provision does not allow for any deviation from the specified upper limit of the allotted quota by the Regional Directors.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2276, 3310, 3734
interpretation; interpretation of rules
As was stated in Judgment 3353, consideration 26, “[a]n organisation must care for the dignity of its staff members and not cause them unnecessary personal distress and disappointment where this could be avoided”. Although the Administration remedied the error itself, as a result of the breach of the provision and the unnecessary communication to the complainant, undoubtedly, the complainant was deeply disappointed by his non-promotion and understandably distressed not knowing for an inordinate amount of time about what had led to him not being promoted for which the complainant is entitled to an award of moral damages [...].
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3353
injury; moral injury; respect for dignity
It is well settled in the case law that internal appeals must be conducted with due diligence and in a manner consistent with the duty of care an international organisation owes to its staff members (see, for example, Judgments 3160, consideration 16, 3582, consideration 3, and 3688, consideration 11). In Judgment 3160, consideration 17, the Tribunal also observed that “[t]he amount of compensation for unreasonable delay will ordinarily be influenced by at least two considerations” namely, the length of the delay and the effect of the delay. The complainant submits that he has suffered pain and distress, including as a result of the delay in the internal grievance procedures. It is observed that the FAO did not make a submission in relation to the delay in the appeal process. Accordingly, the complainant is entitled to moral damages [...].
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3160, 3582, 3688
moral injury; patere legem; delay in internal procedure