Judgment No. 1496
1. THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL'S DECISION OF 27 JUNE 1994 IS SET ASIDE.
2. THE ORGANIZATION SHALL PAY THE COMPLAINANT 10,000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS IN DAMAGES FOR MORAL INJURY.
3. IT SHALL PAY HIM 20,000 FRENCH FRANCS IN COSTS.
The Tribunal would allow a complaint against a decision to transfer an official "if it were a hidden disciplinary sanction because there are specific procedural rules to protect a staff member when disciplinary action is taken: see for example Judgments 126, under 4 and 9, 1078, under 16, and 1407, under 18. In processing, ordering and notifying transfer an organisation must heed the staff member's dignity and good name and not cause unnecessary hardship: see Judgments 367, under 13 and 14, 631, under 27 and 28, 942, under 4, and 1234, under 15 and 19. And the decision must follow a proper enquiry: see Judgment 942, under 4."
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 126, 367, 631, 942, 1078, 1234, 1407
moral injury; inquiry; case law; due process; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; transfer; hidden disciplinary measure; misuse of authority; investigation; abuse of power
"The abruptness of the complainant's transfer could scarcely be put down to the Organization's needs. [...] His new job was not on a par with the old one or in keeping with his qualifications. [...] The manner of it was calculated to offend his dignity, and the FAO proved inconsiderate. The conclusion is that its unlawful behaviour and the seriousness of its offence warrant redress. The letter of appreciation that the Director-General sent him on retirement will not suffice since it failed to acknowledge the unnecessary injury he had suffered."
moral injury; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; transfer; compensation