Judgment No. 3046
The complaint is dismissed.
The right of an organisation to choose the manner in which it defends proceedings brought against it in the Tribunal / Absolute privilege.
"The doctrine of res judicata is one of the legal concepts that serve to ensure that judicial decisions are final and binding and that litigation is brought to a final conclusion. Another such concept is 'absolute privilege' insofar as it relates to statements made in legal proceedings. [A]bsolute privilege attaches to statements made in, and in the course of, legal proceedings, including statements by the parties, their legal representatives and their witnesses so that, save in the case of perjury or interference with the course of justice, those statements may not be the subject of separate proceedings. Absolute privilege serves another important function. It enables the parties to present their cases fully so that a decision can be reached on the whole of the available evidence."
finality of judgment; res judicata; judgment of the tribunal; submissions; evidence; admissibility of evidence; appraisal of evidence; testimony; adversarial proceedings; binding character
"Absolute privilege also operates to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial process. A tribunal would not be independent and impartial, nor seen to be so, if it were to assume the role of dictating to the parties the evidence and arguments that they can advance in their cases. That is not to say that a tribunal cannot control its own proceedings by, for example, excluding irrelevant evidence or striking out scandalous pleadings. Nor does it mean that a tribunal cannot draw inferences by reason of the nature of the evidence or argument presented, including in appropriate cases, adverse inferences as to the motive of the party relying on that evidence or argument. But if the evidence or argument is relevant to the issues to be decided, it is for the parties alone to determine whether they will rely on it. And because the parties must have that freedom or privilege, a tribunal cannot apply sanctions in separate proceedings with respect to the evidence or arguments advanced, particularly not after the proceedings have been completed. Were it otherwise, there would be no finality to litigation."
submissions; evidence; admissibility of evidence; appraisal of evidence; adversarial proceedings; independence; judicial review
"Article II, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the Tribunal relevantly provides that it is competent to hear complaints 'alleging non-observance, in substance or in form, of the terms of appointment of officials and of provisions of the [applicable] Staff Regulations'. The real question raised by this complaint is whether those words extend to decisions taken with respect to the conduct of proceedings before the Tribunal. The complainant points to nothing in the Staff Regulations limiting the right of [the Organization] to choose the manner in which it may defend proceedings brought against it by an official. And although the Tribunal accepts that various international norms and other general legal principles form part of an official's terms of appointment, it would be inconsistent with fundamental legal principles and incompatible with the role of the Tribunal to import a term which impinged on the right of an international organisation to choose the manner in which it defends proceedings brought against it in the Tribunal, whether by way of evidence or argument or by way of communication with the Tribunal relating to the proceedings. It follows that the complaint is not one 'alleging non-observance [...] of the [complainant's] terms of appointment [or] the [applicable] provisions of the Staff Regulations' and, thus, is not one that the Tribunal is competent to hear."
ILOAT reference: Article II, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the Tribunal
organisation; competence; competence of tribunal; iloat; submissions; evidence; admissibility of evidence; appraisal of evidence; general principle; adversarial proceedings; iloat statute; limits; right