Filing of mass complaints

Although the Statute of the Tribunal concerns individual complaints, there are situations in which:
• several persons challenge individual decisions based on the same underlying general decision;
• they all impugn the same final decision addressed to each of them as appellants in the same internal appeal process; and
• they rely on the same legal arguments in their brief, and mostly the same items of evidence (the annexes to their brief).

These complainants are often represented by the same counsel.

Such situations, which could be characterized as the filing of mass complaints, may justify the adoption of some specific rules to avoid that all complainants file six copies of a full set of almost identical submissions (i.e., simply copying the same brief and providing the same annexes).

In these situations, the Tribunal has determined that, with the prior approval of the Registrar, it is desirable that the complainants follow the procedure described below:

1. One complainant (who may be designated by other complainants as the “lead complainant”) will file a complete set of submissions, comprising the Complaint Form, the brief and a full set of annexes. These annexes may include documents that are common to all complainants (“Common Annexes”) as well as some that are relevant only to this particular complainant. Common Annexes may typically include normative documents, the request for review, the response to it, the internal appeal and the opinion of the internal appeal body. The impugned final decision on the internal appeal may also be common to all complainants, if it was not addressed to them individually but was simply addressed to “the appellants in appeal No. xxxx”, for example (in such a case, it is sufficient to file one copy of the final decision and to provide separately a list of addressees). All such documents must be clearly identified as Common Annexes and properly numbered. Other annexes that concern only this particular complainant should be placed after the Common Annexes and should be clearly labelled as “Individual Annexes”.

2. Each other complainant from the group will file a separate Complaint Form, signed by hand by the complainant or her/his representative, and the individual annexes concerning her/him. In the list of annexes in the Complaint Form, all the annexes relied on should be mentioned, but it is unnecessary to detail all the Common Annexes. It is sufficient to indicate in one line: “A1- to A xxx: Common Annexes”. Each complainant must, however, list her/his Individual Annexes, such as payslips, medical certificates, or any similar document relevant only to a particular complainant.

3. The lead complainant will provide six printed copies of the full complaint, as required by the Rules of the Tribunal, as well as an electronic copy. For the other complainants, it is sufficient to provide one printed copy of the Complaint Form and one copy of the Individual Annexes, as well as an electronic copy of these documents only.

4. All other provisions of the Statute and Rules remain applicable.

5. The Registry may assist the complainants in filing mass complaints and, if necessary, provide further explanations.

6. If the above procedure is followed, it can be expected that in the rest of the written proceedings a single reply, rejoinder and surrejoinder can also be filed.

Geneva, 8 June 2023

Dražen Petrović