Judgment No. 4233
The complaint is dismissed, as is the OIE’s counterclaim.
The complainant challenges the decision not to award him compensation for the moral harassment which he alleges he has suffered.
harassment; complaint dismissed
It is well established that an international organisation has a duty to its staff members to investigate claims of harassment thoroughly and objectively (see, for example, Judgments 3071, consideration 36, 3314, consideration 14, 3337, consideration 11, and 4013, consideration 10). The OIE is under such an obligation even though the existing rules do not provide for any specific procedure to deal with harassment complaints. Indeed, it would be desirable for the Organisation to address this matter and to adopt such a procedure, possibly drawing on those which exist in most international organisations and on the case law of the Tribunal.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3071, 3314, 3337, 4013
inquiry; harassment; rules of the organisation; investigation
Under the Tribunal’s case law, harassment can be the cumulative effect of a series of actions which, in isolation, might not be viewed as harassment (see, for example, Judgments 3485, consideration 6, 3599, consideration 4, and 4034, consideration 16) even if they were not challenged at the time of the events (see Judgment 3841, consideration 6). However, firstly, the person alleging harassment bears the burden of proving the allegation (see Judgments 2067, consideration 5, 2100, consideration 13, 2370, consideration 9, and 2406, consideration 13) and, secondly, the only actions which can be said to constitute harassment are those for which there is no reasonable explanation (see Judgments 2370, consideration 17, 2524, consideration 25, 3447, consideration 9, 3996, consideration 7B, 4038, consideration 18, and 4108, consideration 7).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2067, 2100, 2370, 2406, 2524, 3447, 3485, 3599, 3841, 3996, 4034, 4038, 4108
burden of proof; harassment
The OIE’s counterclaim for costs must also be dismissed since the complaint is not vexatious.