Judgment No. 1262
THE COMPLAINT IS DISMISSED.
"The case law has made it consistently plain that a decision not to renew a fixed-term appointment, being discretionary, may be set aside only if it was taken without authority, or in breach of a rule of form or of procedure, or was based on a mistake of fact or of law, or if some essential fact was overlooked, or if clearly mistaken conclusions were drawn from the facts, or if there was abuse of authority. Moreover, when the reason given for non-renewal is unsatisfactory performance, the Tribunal will not replace the organisation's assessment of the complainant's fitness for his duties with its own."
decision; grounds; case law; contract; qualifications; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; unsatisfactory service; judicial review; discretion; disregard of essential fact; flaw; formal flaw; procedural flaw; mistake of fact; mistaken conclusion; misuse of authority; abuse of power
"The complainant argues that the ESO drew mistaken conclusions from the facts in that it was not free to have him perform tasks other than those provided for under the terms of his contract [...]. A description of the complainant's post [...] that he himself signed included what were called 'background activities', and they went beyond the tasks that had originally been required of him. The Tribunal is satisfied that by confining himself to [certain tasks] he displayed a lack of commitment which properly put at issue the question as to whether the observatory should extend his contract." The ESO did not draw plainly mistaken conclusions about his performance.
decision; post description; work appraisal; contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; unsatisfactory service; judicial review; discretion; mistaken conclusion
The complainant objects to a decision not to extend his appointment. "The complainant was involved in the layout and design of the staff magazine, which, he says, was at times critical of the ESO. [...] The charge of victimisation, which is easy enough to make, has to be supported by serious evidence. The complainant has failed to discharge the burden that lies on him to prove the charge against the Observatory. For one thing, he was not even an official of the Staff Association. For another, his allegation that he was victimised merely because he helped with the publication of the magazine is unsupported by a shred of evidence."
decision; evidence; burden of proof; contract; fixed-term; non-renewal of contract; freedom of speech; hidden disciplinary measure; staff representative; harassment