Judgment No. 525
1. THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION OF 16 FEBRUARY 1981 IS QUASHED.
2. THE ORGANISATION SHALL PAY THE COMPLAINANT 1,000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS AS COSTS.
As inferred from the wording of the rule, review is clearly an exceptional measure. Review takes place only after a special decision by the President of the Office on a reasoned request by the staff member. The President has discretion in this matter.
exception; amendment to the rules; home; discretion
The President overlooked essential facts of which the complainant has furnished proof. His present wife normally lives in Tenerife with their son who attends school regularly there. He has real property there, but has no assets in Belgium. However, he is divorced from his first wife, who is still living in that country, he has not kept in touch with the children of his first marriage, who are now adult, and he has no other kin in the country of his birth. The decision whereby his "home" remains in Belgium is set aside.
home; disregard of essential fact
Consideration 5, Summary
The "home" should not in all cases be regarded as the country of birth. The rule refers to the place with which the staff member has the closest connection, with respect to place of residence of his family, where he was brought up and any place where he possesses property. The President's decision is based on a mistake of law, its sole foundation consists of concerns related to the country of birth; that was a mistake of law.
nationality; place of origin; home; criteria
The notion of 'home' "is determined according to several criteria which include not just origin and nationality but also family connections, spiritual, material and psychological links and which serve to identify the focus of his interests and the place where it may be reasonably assumed that he intends to take up permanent residence."
nationality; place of origin; home; criteria; other
Home leave is of benefit to the organisation, which has an interest in ensuring that its employees keep in touch with the place with which they have special connections, namely the home country. "This benefit would be sacrificed by a strict and rigid interpretation of the term 'home' which required the staff member to take home leave in the country of his origin or nationality."
home leave; organisation's interest