This article analyzes Judgments UNDT/2021/076 and 2022-UNAT-1268, and looks into the impact of administrative measures on staff and whether they are fair and just in cases where, like here, charges were dropped following a lengthy and drawn-out investigation.
In the employment law of international organizations, discretionary power (or discretionary authority) refers to an organization’s power to make a choice among a range of acceptable possibilities. In simpler words, this refers to an organization’s “freedom to act” when taking decisions about its staff.
“Harassment of any type is antithetical to the principles of the United Nations (UN), and sexual harassment in particular undermines its credibility and degrades its staff. Five years after the UN Secretary-General established the Chief Executives Board for the Coordination Task Force on Addressing Sexual Harassment (Task Force), addressing and effectively investigating sexual misconduct within the UN system remains a persistent challenge.”
Il ressort de la jurisprudence du TAOIT que les organisations internationales ont l’obligation de respecter les promesses qu’elles ont faites à leurs agents. Pour être prise en compte par le Tribunal, toute promesse doit satisfaire un certain nombre de conditions.
Staff members of international organizations are generally subject to periodic evaluations of the performance of their assigned duties and responsibilities. These performance evaluations or appraisals can be considered cumbersome and tedious by staff members and their managers alike and may be treated as a Pro-forma exercise. However, indifference on the part of the staff members can make negative appraisals difficult to challenge.
Government actions related to COVID-19 (quarantines, social distancing requirements and lockdown measures) and measures to ensure that citizens are vaccinated against COVID-19 have directly and indirectly impacted the lives of international civil servants. In particular, staff members have been impacted by new rules and practices implemented by their employers to address COVID-19 and align practices with their host governments.
What is “whistle-blowing”?
Whistleblowing refers to the process by which an individual reports wrongdoing within an organisation, such as discrimination, abuse or financial misconduct. Whistleblowing usually relates to serious and widespread concerns within an organisation and should be distinguished from workplace grievances, which are matters of personal interest and do not impact upon the broader organisational culture.
La victime de harcèlement (sexuel ou moral) qui cherche à obtenir justice, d’abord au sein de sa propre Organisation et par la suite devant la juridiction compétente, se doit d’entreprendre un « parcours du combattant » long et difficile. Une fois que la victime a obtenu la reconnaissance du harcèlement subi, il lui est loisible de demander et obtenir réparation pour le préjudice subi (matériel et moral), à la condition d’en fournir la preuve. La jurisprudence du TAOIT fournit des indications utiles quant à la façon de calculer la réparation pour préjudice moral.
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On Friday 19th November 2021, the UNAT in New York – sitting as a full bench (i.e., all seven judges) – released its 29th October 2021 Judgment No. 2021-UNAT-1148 in the case of Fogarty, Sheffer, Spinardi, Dispert and Hoe (Respondents) v Secretary-General of the IMO (Applicant) (the “2021 Judgment”). Mr Haines represented Mr Sheffer, Ms Dispert and Ms Hoe.
Most International Civil Servants know little about the disciplinary processes of their respective employer organization. This is likely because the specific legal and procedural framework that applies to a disciplinary situation is usually only relevant if that employee is accused of misconduct.
The United Nations Dispute Tribunal (Judge Joelle Adda) recently decided in favour of a staff member who contested a decision to apply a disciplinary sanction and administrative measure following an investigation by the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) when there was scant and contradictory evidence of her having committed the misconduct alleged.
The United Nations Appeals Tribunal is vested with jurisdiction to hear appeals from decisions of the Pension Board or its Standing Committee under Article 48 of the Pension Fund Regulations. With regard to appeals of decisions on benefits and entitlements that have been considered for review by the Pension Fund, the Tribunal’s strict interpretation of UNJSPF Regulations has been evident in several decisions over benefits for surviving spouses in cases of remarriage.
Recent case law of the ILO Administrative Tribunal seems to depict a tendency towards an increasing scope of judicial review by the Tribunal regarding decisions of non-renewal of fixed-term appointments for unsatisfactory service.
Des décisions récentes du Tribunal administratif de l’OIT semblent illustrer une tendance à l’accroissement de son pouvoir contrôle sur les décisions de non-renouvellement de contrat à durée déterminée pour insuffisance professionnelle.
"Sick Leave and You" as an International Civil Servant
Your rights and what you should know!
La notion de harcèlement institutionnel dans la jurisprudence du TAOIT
The Four Ws of Informal Dispute Resolution: What, Why, When and Who
When the Exception Becomes the Rule:
Disclosure of Evidence in Disciplinary Cases
Commensurate financial damages at the ILO Administrative Tribunal: a work in progress
The UNAT and the applicability of the principle “nemo iudex in causa sua” or “no-one is judge in his own cause”
The Content of Organizations’ Duty of Care within the UN System: Insights from Relevant Internal Legal Sources and Prospective New Developments
Importance of Addressing Performance Issues Often and Early;
Lessons from ILOAT Judgment No. 4289 (S. v. ICGEB)
UN Policy Requiring Claimants to Produce Evidence of Harassment
As a Condition of Receiving Appendix D Benefits Under Challenge at UNDT
ILO Administrative Tribunal Provides Guidance on Proving He Said/She Said
Sexual Harassment Claims in Judgment No. 4207 (sitting en banc)