How to address the Tribunal during the global health crisis

On account of the persistence of the health crisis linked to COVID-19 and until further notice, the date of lodging of appeals will be exceptionally that of the electronic dispatch of a duly completed appeal form and its annexes (see the news of 14.01.2021). The e-mail address to be used is: tribunal.administratif[at]coe.int.
 

 Practicalities

  • Precondition: submission of an administrative complaint to the Secretary General or Governor, with the option of requesting a referral to the Advisory Committee on Disputes (Article 59 of the Staff Regulations)
  • After the administrative complaint has been rejected: lodging of an appeal with the Tribunal’s registry (Article 60 of the Staff Regulations)

 Procedure

  • Languages: English or French
  • Costs:

No deposit

No costs. If, however, the Tribunal finds there has been an abuse of procedure, it may order the appellant to pay all or part of the costs (Article 11, paragraph 3 of the Tribunal’s Statute)

  • Anonymity

Any request for anonymity should be made when completing the form of appeal or as soon as possible thereafter.

In both cases the applicant should provide reasons for the request and specify the impact that publication may have for him or her. (More about Anonymity)

  • Four steps:
  1. Lodging the appeal

    Items to be submitted:

            a) Form (appended to the Rules of Procedure)

            b) Grounds for the appeal

The appellant can submit these either: in full or in the form of a summary with supplementary pleadings to be filed later

            c) List of documents submitted by the appellant and attached to the appeal form

The list of documents submitted must indicate each document attached to the appeal form and give a brief description of each document.  Complete and legible copies of the documents should be attached, and the pages of the documents should be numbered consecutively.

Concerning the electronic versions of these documents, each should be scanned individually. In the case of copies of electronic e-mails, any attachments to these e-mails which are relevant to the case should be submitted and scanned separately, in addition to the e-mail to which they are attached.

  1. Written proceedings
  • Appellant’s supplementary pleadings (if grounds not submitted in full)
  • Secretary General’s observations
  • Appellant’s observations in reply
  • Secretary General’s rejoinder (only if authorised by the Chair)
  1. Oral proceedings
  • Oral proceedings are normally held
  • No hearing if:

            a) both parties agree to dispense with it and ;

            b) the Tribunal has no objections

  • Interpretation if necessary

Key features of the proceedings

  • The parties may request:

            a) that witnesses be heard

            b) an expert opinion

  • Persons entitled to lodge appeals can request permission to intervene in the case in order to support the submissions of one of the parties (Article 10 of the Tribunal’s Statute)
  1. Decision

Three types of decisions:

 Judgment on the merits

  • Summarises the proceedings and facts
  • Gives reasons (parties’ submissions and Tribunal’s assessment))
  • Sets out the operative provisions

Key features of Tribunal decisions

  • Reached by a majority vote
  • No indication of the votes cast
  • No separate opinions
  • No appeals
  • Binding on the parties as soon as they are delivered

Operative part of the decision

  • May annul the act complained of
  • May order payment of a claim (unlimited jurisdiction in pecuniary disputes, Article 60 of the Staff Regulations)
  • May award compensation
  • May include an order for costs (on request)

Execution of decisions

  • Tribunal to be informed within thirty days by the Secretary General
  • If the Secretary General considers that execution is likely to cause serious internal difficulties, the Tribunal fixes the sum to be paid to the appellant by way of compensation (Article 60 paragraph 7 of the Staff Regulations)

 Judgment or order to strike a case off the list (striking out)

a.         When the appellant expresses the wish to withdraw his/her appeal ; or

b.         When the circumstances, in particular the appellant’s failure to provide information requested or to observe time-limits set, lead to the conclusion that he/she does not intend to pursue the appeal.

 Appeals may be restored to the list if the circumstances so warrant.

Decision to strike out

Made via:

  • A judgment of the Tribunal or
  • An order of the Chair following a report to the judges, who have 60 days in which to raise any objections

 Ruling of manifest inadmissibility