Judgment No. 4644
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant has pursued a number of grievances with the EPO about financial matters and seeks an award of moral damages in relation to either the events underpinning his internal appeals or the conduct of the appeals themselves.
moral damages; complaint dismissed
[T]he Tribunal will not award costs for internal appeals subject to a proviso that it may do so in exceptional cases (see, for example, Judgments 4392, consideration 13, 4217, consideration 12, and 4157, consideration 14). Nothing is pointed to by the complainant in his pleas which would support a conclusion that the circumstances concerning either appeal engaged the proviso. Accordingly, the complaint should, in this respect, be dismissed.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 4157, 4217, 4392
costs for internal appeal procedure
Much of the argument of the complainant in his pleas appears to proceed on the premise that if there was a legal error attending a decision, or delay in the making of a decision, or delay in the finalisation of an appeal, then, without more, an entitlement to moral damages arises. This premise is incorrect. Moral damages are awarded for moral injury and the complainant bears the burden of proving that injury and the causal link with the unlawful conduct of the defendant organisation (see, for example, Judgments 4157, consideration 7, 4156, consideration 5, 3778, consideration 4, and 2471, consideration 5). Delay, of itself, does not entitle a complainant to moral damages (see, for example, Judgments 4487, consideration 14, 4396, consideration 12, 4231, consideration 15, and 4147, consideration 13). Without attempting to describe, exhaustively, what might constitute a moral injury, it includes emotional distress, anxiety, stress, anguish and hardship (see, for example, Judgments 4519, consideration 14, 4156, consideration 6, and 3138, considerations 8 and 14).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2471, 3138, 3778, 4147, 4156, 4157, 4231, 4396, 4487, 4519