Judgment No. 3784
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant contests the calculation of his reckonable previous experience upon recruitment.
professional experience; complaint dismissed
The EPO raises receivability as a threshold issue. It asks the Tribunal to note that the version of Article 108 of the Service Regulations then in force required an internal appeal to be lodged within three months from the date on which an appellant became aware of the decision appealed against. The Tribunal has consistently stated that time limits which are provided for lodging internal appeals must be strictly adhered to because they serve the important purposes of ensuring that disputes are dealt with in a timely way so that the rights of parties are known to be settled at a particular point of time efficaciously. In addition, flexibility about time limits should not intrude into the Tribunal’s decision-making even if it might be thought to be equitable or fair in a particular case to allow some flexibility. To do otherwise would “impair the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations”. However, there are exceptions to this general approach. One is that if the question of receivability was not raised by the organisation in the internal appeal then it cannot be raised in the Tribunal. Another is if the defendant organisation has misled the complainant or concealed some paper from the complainant and thus deprived the complainant of the possibility of exercising her or his right of appeal, in breach of the principle of good faith (see, for example, Judgments 2722, consideration 3, and 3311, considerations 5 and 6).
Organization rules reference: Article 108 of the Service Regulations
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2722, 3311
internal remedies exhausted; late appeal