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Judgment No. 4547

Decision

1. The impugned decision of 23 October 2018 is set aside, as are the earlier decisions of 9 November 2017 and 16 January 2018.
2. IFAD shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 10,000 euros.
3. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 2,000 euros.
4. All other claims are dismissed.

Summary

The complainant challenges the decision of the President of IFAD to find her internal complaint of harassment and abuse of authority unfounded.

Judgment keywords

Keywords

complaint allowed; harassment

Consideration 3

Extract:

[T]he Tribunal emphasises [...] that a staff member who lodges a harassment complaint is plainly a party to the procedure conducted to ascertain whether that complaint is well founded, even though she or he would not be a party to any subsequent disciplinary proceedings taken against the perpetrator in the event that the harassment was recognised. The staff member concerned is therefore entitled to know whether it has been recognised that acts of harassment have been committed against her or him and, if so, to be informed how the organisation intends to compensate her or him for the material and/or moral injury suffered (see, in this respect, Judgments 3965, consideration 9, and 4541, [...] consideration 4, both of which concern harassment complaints). In the present case, and since such an explanation of reasons could, inter alia, support a possible claim for compensation for the injury suffered, the complainant should have been adequately informed, in the Presidentís final decision [...], of the reasons why the organisation did or did not recognise the existence of harassment by her supervisor (see Judgments 3096, consideration 15, and [...] 4541, consideration 4).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 3096, 3965, 4207, 4541, 4541

Keywords

harassment; right to information

Consideration 3

Extract:

[T]he Presidentís reasoning is clearly inadequate, as it is limited to a reference to the report and recommendations of the JAB, which evidently likewise failed to take into account the principles set out above when carrying out its work. Given that the President merely stated that the complainantís internal complaint had been examined by AUO in accordance with the rules and procedures applicable within IFAD through the conduct of a full investigation, the Tribunal considers that such reasoning, which takes no account of the complainantís criticisms in her internal appeal, does not constitute adequate reasoning for the purposes of the case law according to which any decision adversely affecting a staff member must state the reasons on which it is based (see, for example, Judgment 2347, considerations 11 and 12) and consequently must be founded on valid grounds (see, for example, Judgment 4108, consideration 3).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 2347, 4108

Keywords

motivation of final decision

Consideration 6

Extract:

[T]he Tribunal considers that a decision of an international organisation finding that a harassment complaint is unfounded and rejecting a claim for compensation for the material or moral injury allegedly suffered by the staff member who lodged that complaint is an administrative decision that may adversely affect her or him. [T]he Tribunal has on several occasions held that any staff member who lodges such a complaint is entitled to know whether the person named in the complaint has been found to have committed acts of harassment and, if so, to be informed how the organisation intends to compensate her or him for the material and/or moral injury suffered (see, in this respect, [...] Judgments 3965, consideration 9, and 4541, consideration 4). Consequently, contrary to the JABís view, the complainant was entitled to challenge in an internal appeal both the decision [...] informing her that the case had been closed because there had been no harassment and the decision [...] confirming that initial decision.

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 3965, 4541

Keywords

cause of action; inquiry; harassment

Consideration 7

Extract:

[T]he Tribunal observes that it is irrelevant that IFAD no longer had any reason to take measures to protect the complainant in the present case since she had left the organisation. That is not what the complainant seeks. She does not claim protection, which would indeed be pointless, but compensation for the material and moral injury she submits she suffered as a result of the conduct in question.

Keywords

cause of action; harassment; former official

Consideration 10

Extract:

It is well settled in the Tribunalís case law that an international organisation is bound to grant a request from the staff member concerned for a copy of the report delivered by the investigative body at the end of an investigation into a harassment complaint, even if that means the report must be redacted in order to maintain the confidentiality of some aspects of the investigation, in particular the testimony gathered during that investigation (see, in particular, Judgments 3347, considerations 19 to 21, and 3831, consideration 17, and also Judgments 3995, consideration 5, and 4217, consideration 4).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 3347, 3831, 3995, 4217

Keywords

disclosure of evidence; confidentiality

Consideration 11

Extract:

[T]he Tribunal recalls its case law which states that, while a complainant may not submit claims for the first time to the Tribunal if they were not made in the internal appeal procedure, she or he may enter new pleas (see Judgments 4009, under 10, and 4449, under 4).

Reference(s)

ILOAT Judgment(s): 4009, 4449

Keywords

new claim; new plea



 
Last updated: 21.12.2022 ^ top