[SUEPO] EPO cases of the 126th Session of the ILO-AT

In its 126th session the Tribunal delivered a total of 75 judgments, of which 17 concern the EPO. The good news of this session is that the Tribunal ordered Ion Brumme and Malika Weaver - who had been unlawfully disciplined for their work as staff representatives - to be fully restored in their previous positions. The same happened to a colleague in Berlin who had been dismissed. Two further disciplinary cases were remitted to the Organisation, which may count as a (very) partial win. But all other cases were lost. This paper presents the key cases and the problems, mainly: a lack of normative control and a clear bias in favour of the Organisation - to the detriment of staff.

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SUEPO NEWSFLASH - 126th Session of the ILOAT

126th Session of the ILOAT


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The ECHR in practice denying staff of IO's fundamental rights

Position of ECHR President Guido Raimondi on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on international Civil Service law.

  • The originally written French-language text of the speech is available here.

  • The English translation of the speech is available here.

The originally written French text as well as the English translation are both in .pdf format.


[Council of Europe] Final report on: Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff

English version
Final report on : Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff
Read in particular page 3 bullets 4 to 9 (and ff)
Version française

Conseil de l'Europe - Rapport final: Immunité de juridiction des organisations internationales et droits des personnels
Lire en particulier page 3 paragraphes 4 à 9 (et suivants)

For more information, view the video of the debate at the Council of Europe here.


[SUEPO] Analysis of the EPO cases issued during ILO-AT extraordinary session of December 6th 2017

For more information, read here.
More information for public readers, click here.


SUEPO Central on the Extraordinary Session of the ILO Today - 125th Session of the ILOAT

Dear colleagues,
In an exceptional session today the Tribunal delivered Judgments 3958 and 3960 in which it ordered the immediate reinstatement of the suspended Board of Appeal member to his former post.
It further ordered the EPO to allow him access to the premises, return any EPO property it had requested him to hand over and immediately unblock his EPO User ID. 
The Tribunal further ordered the EPO to pay a sum in costs as well as compensation for moral injury.
SUEPO central


[SUEPO] Report on the 124th Session of the ILOAT

In its 124th session the Tribunal delivered a total of 80 judgments, of which only nine (!) concern the EPO. Of those only two cases were fully reasoned. Both concerned disciplinary sanctions. Six cases, of which 5 coming from the EPO, were summarily dismissed. This paper discusses the latest cases that illustrate the on-going changes in the jurisprudence the Tribunal. We also informs about changes in the composition of the Tribunal and the recent developments in the Appeals Committee.


[SUEPO] ILOAT: 90 years old - and in need of repair

On 5 May 2017 the Tribunal held a symposium to mark its 90th anniversary.  The program can be found at the Tribunal’s website[1].  As can be expected from such an event there was much praise for the Tribunal. While some of it is merited, not all of it is: the Tribunal is showing its age. It needs to catch up with the current legal and practical developments. The present paper explains the reasons.


[SUEPO] SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

Dear SUEPO Members, dear Colleagues

As you remember, to defend the interests of its members when attacked by President Battistelli, SUEPO sought protection from the Dutch courts in the form of an injunction. An injunction is meant to prevent a violation of rights likely (if not certain) to cause irreparable damage. Disappointingl y, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the EPO’s immunity.  
A host state has a heavy duty of care. On the one hand, it must take reasonable steps to safeguard the immunity of an international organisation, when such immunity is necessary for the lawful operations of the organisation. On the other hand, the host state must see to it that all individuals within its jurisdiction have effective means to protect their rights when menaced.  
When the legal system applicable to an international organisation does not provide for protection in the form of an injunction, which is essential to prevent irreparable damage, and even worse when it is virtually indisputable that the organisation is violating rights, the host state has a serious difficulty. In our opinion, it has only two options:  either to lift the immunity of the organisation for the benefit of a party aggrieved, or to take itself action against the rogue organisation by resorting to international arbitration (in the EPO’s case, Article 23(1) PPI).  
Being unwilling to do either, in our opinion The Netherlands have failed (so far) to discharge their duty of care, thereby allowing a breach of fundamental rights on their soil and de facto condoning, if not endorsing, the EPO’s abuses.
Therefore, on 8 May 2017 SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights.
As usual, we will keep you informed of any essential development.

Your SUEPO central


[SUEPO] Report on the 123rd Session of the ILOAT

In its 123rd session the Tribunal delivered a total of 97 judgments, of which 33[1] cases involving the EPO. Of the EPO cases, only 3 cases were partially won[2] by the complainants. Of the remaining cases 13 were summarily dismissed. In the 123rd session the Tribunal again stressed that it will only judge on “individual” decisions, thereby confirming its unwillingness to exercise normative control. Its tendency to send cases back to the EPO further contributes to the backlog at the EPO and at the Tribunal.

[1]   The high number of Judgments dealt with in this session made it impossible to report on all cases and forced us to ignore some cases that would have merited a discussion.

[2]   Only cases that were won on the substance are considered as won. Cases that only led to an award of costs and damages for procedural delays are considered lost. Note that whereas many cases are fully (even summarily) dismissed, the few cases that were won are only partially won. The present paper discusses selected cases and the overall implications.