Judgment No. 2626
The complaint and the EPO's counterclaim are dismissed.
"A decision to refuse to publish in an international organisation's in-house magazine the corrigendum of an article which, in the opinion of the staff member concerned, injures his personal interests may constitute a breach of that staff member's personal rights and an infringement of his freedom of expression. Insofar as such a decision in itself produces legal effects and infringes the rights of the staff member concerned, it constitutes an administrative act causing injury."
individual decision; injury; moral injury; organisation; cause of action; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; amendment to the rules; breach; freedom of speech; effect; publication; refusal; right
"Generally speaking, serving or retired staff members who turn to an internal appeal body are entitled to have their case heard within a reasonable period of time without having to endure excessive and unjustified delays resulting from the malfunctioning of that body, or from the inadequate resources at its disposal. This duty to take prompt action is reinforced where the dispute is such that it must be resolved rapidly if resolution is to serve any purpose. [...] Contrary to the defendant's view, the complainant therefore had good reason to consider that the lack of a decision within a reasonable time amounted to an implied decision of rejection which he was entitled to challenge before the Tribunal (see Judgments 499 and 791, under 2)."
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 499, 791
complaint; absence of final decision; implied decision; failure to answer claim; injury; internal appeals body; administrative delay; direct appeal to tribunal; internal appeal; competence of tribunal; reasonable time; organisation's duties; retirement; right; official