Judgment No. 666
THE COMPLAINTS AND THE APPLICATIONS TO INTERVENE ARE DISMISSED.
The complainants seek payment of the education allowance to which they were entitled at the IPI. The Tribunal holds that on the basis of the transfer agreement between the IPI and the EPO the latter is not under obligation to pay the education allowance insofar as the organisation offsets the education costs borne by its officials. The Tribunal exempts the case where actual costs are not offset.
merger; allowance; education expenses; refund; compensatory measure; consequence; discontinuance
"No one may plead breach of the principle of equality on the grounds that he has not received a benefit unlawfully conferred on others. [The complainant] is [...] mistaken in alleging that such breach entitles him to payment of an allowance which was wrongly paid to others."
exception; general principle; equal treatment; flaw
"Any person to whom the Tribunal is open under Article II of its Statute may apply to intervene in a case on the conditions stated in Article 17 of the Rules of court. Applications to intervene may be made at any stage, and the Tribunal decides whether they shall be allowed. The applications to intervene in the present case are receivable and the Tribunal's ruling on the merits of the complaints will hold good for the applications as well."
ILOAT reference: ARTICLE 17, PARAGRAPH 2, OF THE RULES;
ARTICLE II OF THE STATUTE
locus standi; intervention; receivability of the complaint; time limit
In this case, "the complainants' pleas and claims are not stated in identical terms, but in substance their case is the same. [...] All three complainants are in the same factual position. [...] A further fact that is material, in view of the nature of their claims, is that all three are married and have children [...] The material issue in the three cases is in essence the same and the Tribunal will rule on the single legal issue which the three complaints raise."
claim; joinder; identical facts; difference
"As the Tribunal has consistently held, an allowance may form an essential part of the official's contract in that he considered it to be of decisive importance when he accepted employment, and its abolition would therefore constitute breach of an acquired right; but he has no acquired right to the actual amount of the allowance or to continuance of any particular method of reckoning it. Indeed he must expect these to change as circumstances change."
amount; case law; acquired right; amendment to the rules; reckoning; allowance; education expenses; discontinuance
The organisation "does concede that there may be some actual costs to be refunded. If that were so, then under the safeguard in [the material provisions] transferred officials would undoubtedly be entitled to refund. That is an issue of fact, and one on which the Tribunal cannot rule. It is up to the complainants to ask the [organisation] to [...] refund their actual costs not otherwise covered. The Tribunal holds that on the correct construction of the [material provisions] they would be entitled to have any such sums repaid."
education expenses; refund; right