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Judgment No. 4503

Decision

The complaint is dismissed.

Summary

The complainant challenges the decision not to extend her fixed-term appointment upon its expiry.

Judgment keywords

Keywords

fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; complaint dismissed; senior official

Consideration 4

Extract:

The complainant requests oral proceedings. Pursuant to Article V of the Statute of the Tribunal, ď[t]he Tribunal, at its discretion, may decide or decline to hold oral proceedings, including upon request of a partyĒ. In this case, the Tribunal finds the written submissions to be sufficient to reach a reasoned decision, thus there is no need for oral proceedings.

Keywords

oral proceedings

Consideration 7

Extract:

It is well settled in the Tribunalís case law that an organization enjoys wide discretion in deciding whether or not to renew a fixed-term appointment. The exercise of such discretion is subject to only limited review as the Tribunal respects the organizationís freedom to determine its own requirements and the career prospects of staff. However, the discretion is not unfettered and the Tribunal will set aside the decision if it was taken without authority or in breach of a rule of form or of procedure, or if it rested on an error of fact or of law, or if some essential fact was overlooked, or if there was abuse of authority, or if clearly mistaken conclusions were drawn from the evidence (see Judgments 3948, consideration 2, 4062, consideration 6, 4146, consideration 3, 4231, consideration 3, 4363, consideration 10).
These grounds of review are applicable notwithstanding that the Tribunal has consistently stated, in Judgment 3444, consideration 3, for example, that an employee who is in the service of an international organization on a fixed-term contract does not have a right to the renewal of the contract when it expires and the complainantís terms of appointment contain a similar provision (see Judgments 3586, consideration 6, and 4218, consideration 2).
Even though an organization is generally under no obligation to extend a fixed-term contract or to reassign someone whose fixed-term contract is expiring, unless it is specifically provided by a provision in the staff rules or regulations, the reason for the non-renewal must be valid (and not an excuse to get rid of a staff member) and be notified within a reasonable time (see Judgments 1128, consideration 2, 1154, consideration 4, 1983, consideration 6, 2406, consideration 14, 3353, consideration 15, 3582, consideration 9, 3586, consideration 10, 3626, consideration 12, and 3769, consideration 7).
An international organization is under an obligation to consider whether or not it is in its interests to renew a contract and to make a decision accordingly: though such a decision is discretionary, it cannot be arbitrary or irrational; there must be a good reason for it and the reason must be given (see Judgment 1128, consideration 2).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 1128, 1154, 1983, 2406, 3353, 3444, 3582, 3586, 3626, 3769, 3948, 4062, 4146, 4218, 4231, 4363

Keywords

fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; discretion; role of the tribunal

Consideration 10

Extract:

[T]he Organization complied with its duty of care. The complainant was given five monthsí notice of the non-renewal of her contract; the expiry of the contract occurred at the contractually agreed time, and the complainant received reasons for the non-renewal, orally and in writing (see Judgment 4321, consideration 8).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 4321

Keywords

fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; notice; duty of care; motivation

Consideration 11

Extract:

[T]he restructuring of the [Senior Management Team] and the consequent non-renewal of the complainantís appointment was a discretionary decision, as part of a policy to reform and restructure the management of the Organization, lawfully taken by the Director-General, within her authority. It is well settled in the Tribunalís case law that decisions concerning restructuring within an international organization may be taken at the discretion of the executive head of the organization and are consequently subject to only limited review. Accordingly, the Tribunal will ascertain whether such decisions are taken in accordance with the relevant rules on competence, form or procedure, whether they rest upon a mistake of fact or of law or whether they constitute abuse of authority. The Tribunal will not rule on the appropriateness of a restructuring or of decisions relating to it and it will not substitute the organizationís view with its own (see, for example, Judgments 4004, consideration 2, 4139, consideration 2, 4180, consideration 3, 4405, consideration 2).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 4004, 4139, 4180, 4405

Keywords

fixed-term; reorganisation; non-renewal of contract; discretion; role of the tribunal; senior official



 
Last updated: 03.10.2022 ^ top