Judgment No. 4210
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss as irreceivable his claim for compensation for injury or illness attributable to service.
time bar; service-incurred; complaint dismissed
It is to be recalled that Article 12 of Appendix D provides that claims for compensation shall be submitted within four months of, relevantly, the “onset of the illness”. The language of the Article is, in this respect, clear as is the purpose of the time limit as discussed in Judgment 3949 in the quotation set out above. There is no warrant for reading into the provision a qualification of the type advanced by the complainant. It is clear from the evidence that the complainant was aware or believed that the illness from which he suffered which led him to take sick leave in June 2015 was work-related. There is no reason to doubt that the ABCC was correct in concluding that the onset of the illness was, at the latest, June 2015. The related argument that a too narrow construction of the expression “onset of the illness” would give rise to arbitrary decision-making is unfounded. Ultimately whether the time limit has been met will depend on the facts of any particular case and it has to be borne in mind that there is an overriding discretion invested in the Director-General by Article 12 itself to accept for consideration a claim lodged out of time in exceptional circumstances.
time limit; service-incurred
The fourth argument is that there had been procedural irregularities attending the ABCC’s consideration of his case on 24 May 2017 and 11 December 2017. This is founded on the fact that all members of the ABCC did not sign the minutes of the May and December 2017 meetings. The complainant does not point to any case law or staff rule or regulation that requires all members to sign. Moreover the mere fact that all members did not sign does not even arguably sustain an inference that the decisions actually made were not unanimous (see, for example, Judgments 1763, consideration 13, and 810, consideration 2).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 810, 1763
formal requirements; internal appeals body; report; formal flaw; signature