the art of being legal

Legal procedures at the international labour organization's administrative tribunal

The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (hereinafter referred to as ILO) has been the competent judicial body since 1947 to hear disputes that may arise with officials or former officials of the ILO, but it is also competent if any international organization has recognized it as such in its Statutes.


Josep Conesa abogado laboralista

Josep Conesa Sagrera

English-speaking lawyer in Barcelona 

Lawyer & Master's Degree in EU Law and Fundamental Rights

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION EMPLOYMENT LAWYER

Our background advising OI and OI'S employees has made our firm experts advising and defending rights related to:

INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES:

  • FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
  • IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • ILO International Labour Organization
  • IMF International Monetary Fund
  • IMO International Maritime Organization
  • ITU International Telecommunication Union
  • UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • UNWTO World Tourism Organization
  • UPU Universal Postal Union
  • WHO World Health Organization
  • WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization
  • WMO World Meteorological Organization
  • WORLD BANK GROUP7
    • IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    • IDA International Development Association
    • IFC International Finance Corporation

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

  • CTBTO Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive
  • Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
  • IAEA1, 3 International Atomic Energy Agency
  • ICC International Criminal Court
  • IOM1 International Organization for Migration
  • ISA International Seabed Authority
  • ITLOS International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  • OPCW 3 Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • WTO1, 4 World Trade Organization
  • CdE, Council of Europe
  • EU, European Union
  • EAEC or Euratom, European Atomic Energy Community
    • F4E Fusion for Energy

INTER-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS:

ILO2021

THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO)

The procedure and functioning of the Administrative Tribunal are regulated in the Rules of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization, adopted by the Tribunal on November 24, 1993, and amended by the Tribunal on November 9, 2011, May 16, 2014, November 5, 2014, May 8, 2019, June 25, 2020, and May 9, 2023.

HOW IS THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL COMPOSED WHEN HANDLING A CLAIM?

Currently, it consists of seven judges of different nationalities. This "board" is chaired by its President (Mr. Patrick Frydman, of French nationality) and a Vice President (Mr. Michael F. Moore, Australia).

However, the claim must be addressed to the "Greffe" (Registrar of the Court) who will verify the correct compliance with the substantive and formal requirements of the claim before submitting it to the Administrative Tribunal.

HOW CAN I VERIFY THAT THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION IN WHICH I WORK RECOGNISES THE COMPETENCE OF THE ILO IN CASE OF CONFLICT?

Directly, this can be verified in the List available on the ILO's website, or it would be possible to verify the jurisdictional competence established in the employment contract or mandate signed.

WHAT TYPE OF CLAIM DOES THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL HANDLE?

The TRIBLEX platform of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO provides us with an extensive system for searching case law, through which we can access a summary and ruling of the case, and from which we can see that the cases judged are of all kinds, but always linked to their labour nature, this list is non-exhaustive:

  • Against INTERPOL - Session 4813 of 2024: the claimant, a member of the Interpol staff with a fixed-term contract, has been notified of his failure to pass the probationary period due to low performance, and requests from the Tribunal the right to be reinstated within the organization or compensation for the termination of the contract.
  • Against the ILO - Session 4810 of 2024: the claimant contests the ILO's decision not to reclassify his position.
  • Against the EPO - Session 4800 of 2024: the claimant contests the denial of his request for paid leave for the very serious illness of his minor child.
  • Against the FAO - Session 4470 of 2024: the claimant contests the business decision to dismiss him for disciplinary reasons.
  • Against the WHO - Session 4763 of 2024: The claimant challenges the decision to dismiss her request to have her illnesses recognized as work-related.
  • etc.

CAN I REPRESENT MYSELF TO SUBMIT MY CLAIM OR MUST I BE ASSISTED BY A LAWYER?

Although the ILO Regulations allow the worker/official of an international organization to represent himself for the preparation and processing of the prior claim, and considering the complexity of the formalities of these matters, we advise you to be assisted and represented by a qualified lawyer practicing in one of the Member States that are part of the ILO.

abogado laboralista barcelonaExpert International Lawyer 

WHAT FORMALITIES MUST I FULFIL WHEN SUBMITTING A CLAIM TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO)?

  1. LANGUAGE: The ILO recognises two official languages: French and English. Expressly provided for in its regulations, the Administrative Tribunal indicates that the entire procedure must be conducted in a single language, with no possibility of switching from one language to another during the procedure.
  2. MEMORANDUM: it must detail the facts of the case and the grounds for the claim, according to the formalism detailed in Annex I of the Regulations.
  3. ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION: since the official languages of the procedure are French and English, any documentation written in another language and attached to the claim should be translated and certified.
  4. Five copies of all documentation submitted with the claim must be provided.

DO I HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT?

Following Article 11, the President may, ex officio or at the request of one of the parties, require any additional investigative measures, production of documents, and/or appearance of the parties before the Tribunal, testimony of witnesses and experts, consult any competent International Authority.

CAN I WITHDRAW MY CLAIM?

If you want to withdraw, that is, withdraw your claim, either because the matter has been amicably resolved or for another reason, you must inform the President of the Tribunal or the "Greffe" in writing as soon as possible so that the Tribunal does not waste time on the case in question and may even register another case. A withdrawal cannot be accompanied by conditions. The defendant organization has the opportunity to make allegations against the withdrawal request.

IF I DISAGREE WITH THE JUDGEMENT, CAN I FILE ANY APPEAL?

The judgments rendered by the Tribunal are final and binding, and cannot be appealed.

However, it would be possible to request a review of what has been judged, for one of the following reasons:

  • Failure to consider certain facts.
  • Material error.
  • Failure to present conclusions.
  • New facts that the claimant could not argue at the time of the procedure.

HOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO) ENFORCED?

The judgments rendered have the authority of res judicata and must be enforced as pronounced. The parties must cooperate in good faith to this end. If the Tribunal has not set a deadline for the enforcement of an obligation, the judgments must be enforced within a reasonable period.

To determine if this was the case, it is necessary to take into account all the circumstances of the case, and in particular the nature and scope of the activity required of the organization. When it appears that the defendant organization does not intend to comply with its obligations or will delay the enforcement of the judgment, the applicant may, after giving the organization sufficient and reasonable time to enforce the judgment, request the Tribunal, through an enforcement appeal, to take note of the organization's failure and order appropriate measures to be taken.

If you find yourself in need of guidance or legal assistance regarding a claim with the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is ready to provide comprehensive support and help navigate the process effectively.

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Cyrielle Agut abogada laboralista-circle
              Written by Cyrielle Agut

              Employment lawyer - Spanish, English, French

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Publication date: 4 March 2024

Last updated: 8 March 2024