Chapter V. Decisions of Administrative Tribunals of the United Nations and related intergovernmental organizations


  1. Decisions of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal2

    1. Judgement No. 1231 (22 July 2005): Applicant v the Secretary-General of the United Nations

      Terms .and .conditions .of .employment—Decision .to .arm .security .officer .is .a .policy . decision . within . the . discretion . of . the . Secretary-General—Limited . review . of . discretionary .decisions—Burden .of .proof .in .discrimination .claims—Transfer .and . conversion .of .status .of .employment

      The .Applicant .entered .the .service .of .the .Organization .as .a .Security .Officer .at .the . S-1 .level .on .19 .September .1983 .Her .contract .was .subsequently .extended .and, .on .1 .October .1985, .she .was .granted .a .permanent .appointment .At .the .time .of .the .events .which .gave .

      1 . In .view .of .the .large .number .of .judgements .which .were .rendered .in .2005 .by .the .administrative . tribunals .of .the .United .Nations .and .related .intergovernmental .organizations, .only .those .judgements . which .address .significant .issues .of .United .Nations .administrative .law .or .are .otherwise .of .general .interest .have .been .summarized .in .the .present .edition .of .the .Yearbook. .For .the .full .text .of .the .complete .series . of .judgements .rendered .by .the .tribunals, .namely, .Judgements .Nos .1223 .to .1281 .of .the .United .Nations . Administrative .Tribunal, .Judgements .Nos .2375 .to .2479 .of .the .Administrative .Tribunal .of .the .International .Labour .Organization, .Decisions .Nos .330 .to .344 .of .the .World .Bank .Administrative .Tribunal, . and .Judgements .No .2005–1 .to .2005–4 .of .the .International .Monetary .Fund .Administrative .Tribunal, . see, .respectively, .documents .AT/DEC/1223 .to .AT/DEC/1281; .Judgments of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization: 98th and 99th Sessions; .World Bank Administrative Tribunal Reports, 2005; .and .International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal Reports, Judgments No. 2005–1 to 2005–4.

      2 . The .Administrative .Tribunal .of .the .United .Nations .is .competent .to .hear .and .pass .judgement . upon .applications .alleging .non-observance .of .contracts .of .employment .of .staff .members .of .the .United . Nations .Secretariat .or .of .their .terms .of .appointment .In .addition, .the .Tribunal’s .competence .extends .to . the .United .Nations .Joint .Staff .Pension .Fund .(including .cases .from .all .specialized .agencies .that .participate .in .the .Fund .and .which .have .accepted .the .jurisdiction .of .the .Tribunal .in .Pension .Fund .cases), .the . United .Nations .Programmes .and .Funds, .such .specialized .agencies .and .related .organizations .that .have . accepted .the .competence .of .the .Tribunal .(the .International .Maritime .Organization .and .the .International .Civil .Aviation .Organization), .the .staff .of .the .Registries .of .the .International .Court .of .Justice, .the . International .Tribunal .for .the .Law .of .the .Sea, .and .the .staff .of .the .International .Seabed .Authority .For . more .information .about .the .United .Nations .Administrative .Tribunal .and .the .full .texts .of .its .judgements, . see .http://untreaty un org/UNAT/main_page htm

      3 . .Spyridon .Flogaitis, .Vice-President, .presiding; .and .Jacqueline .R .Scott .and .Goh .Joon .Seng, . Members



      rise .to .her .Application, .she .held .the .S-3 .position .of .Security .Officer, .Security .and .Safety . Service .(SSS)

      The . Applicant . had . expressed . religious . objections . to . carrying . a . firearm . in . 1989, . but .was .subsequently .able .to .overcome .them .and .carried .a .weapon .for .some .years .On . 15 .August .1997, .however, .she .informed .her .supervisor .that .she .could .no .longer .reconcile . carrying .firearms .with .her .religious .convictions .On .23 .November .1999, .the .Applicant, . who .had .completed .the .training .to .be .a .Fire .Officer, .submitted .a .request .for .assignment .to . the .Fire .Unit .It .would .appear .that .no .action .was .taken .on .this .request

      On .9 .November .2000, .the .Office .of .Human .Resources .Management .prepared .a .“Note . for .the .File” .documenting .various .efforts .made .to .resolve .the .Applicant’s .case, .including .a . conciliation .session .and .an .offer .of .either .“exceptional .terms .of .agreed .termination” .or .a . transfer .outside .the .SSS, .subject .to .conversion .of .her .status .to .General .Service .and .a .review . of .her .status .after .one .year .Thereafter, .on .17 .January .2001, .the .Applicant .was .furnished . with .a .draft .Memorandum .of .Understanding .which .set .out .the .terms .for .her .transfer .to . the .General .Service .category .and .indicated .that .the .resulting .loss .in .income .would .be . borne .by .her

      On .29 .August .2001, .the .Applicant .lodged .an .appeal .with .the .Joint .Appeals .Board . (JAB) .In .a .majority .report .dated .29 .August .2002, .the .JAB .recommended .that, .in .the .event . of .a .transfer .to .the .General .Service .category, .the .Applicant .should .be .paid .a .personal .transitional .allowance, .decreasing .progressively .from .US$ .540 .a .month .to .zero .over .a .period .of . three .years, .and .that .the .review .of .her .contractual .status .should .take .place .after .at .least .two . years .of .service .The .dissenting .member .of .the .JAB .recommended .that .she .be .transferred . or .reassigned .to .the .Fire .Unit .On .23 .September .2002, .the .Applicant .was .informed .that .the . Secretary-General .was .not .in .agreement .with .the .recommendations .of .either .the .majority . or .the .dissenting .member .of .the .JAB, .but .would .permit .her .“a .final .opportunity” .to .elect . one .of .the .options .offered .to .her .in .November .2000 .She .was .cautioned .that, .in .the .absence . of .a .decision .from .her .within .one .month, .the .Administration .would .“commence .the .procedures .for .terminating .[her] .appointment .for .failure .to .meet .the .performance .standards . required .of .a .Security .Officer” .On .30 .October, .the .Applicant .opted .for .a .transfer .to .the . General .Service .category, .“in .order .to .protect .[her] .employment .with .the .Organization” . On .30 .June .2003, .she .filed .her .Application .with .the .Tribunal

      In .its .consideration .of .the .case, .the .Tribunal .recalled .its .jurisprudence .that .the .terms . and .conditions .of .employment .with .the .United .Nations .“are .not .necessarily .limited .to . those .set .out .in .writing” .but .“may .be .expressed .or .implied .and . . . .gathered .from .correspondence .and .surrounding .facts .and .circumstances” .It .found .that .the .terms .and .conditions .of .the .Applicant’s .employment, .including .the .requirement .that .she .be .willing .and . able .to .bear .firearms .when .required, .were .set .forth .both .in .writing .and .in .the .“surrounding . facts .and .circumstances”

      With .respect .to .the .written .terms .of .the .Applicant’s .employment, .the .Tribunal .took . note .of .the .following .provisions .of .the .Handbook .of .the .SSS, .a .copy .of .which .was .provided . to .the .Applicant .upon .recruitment:

      “Section 5.06—Firearms—Issue and Control Procedures

      (a) . Authority to Carry Firearms—Personnel . of . the . [SSS] . who . are . authorized . by . the . United .Nations .and .who .are .issued .firearms .will .carry .such .weapons .only .when .they .are . on .duty .Under .normal .circumstances, .firearms .will .be .carried .by .senior .supervisory .

      . chapter .V . 79

      personnel, .by .investigators, .by .personnel .on .special .assignment, .and .by .security .officers . manning .posts .specially .designated .as .armed .posts ”

      The .Tribunal .considered .that .the .use .of .the .word .“will” .in .the .first .sentence .of .section . 5 06 .made .it .apparent .that .the .Applicant .could .be .required .to .carry .a .firearm, .subject .to . the .limitations .of .the .clause .Moreover, .it .found .that .the .inclusion .of .the .phrase .“under . normal .circumstances” .implied .that .in .other, .less .normal .circumstances .other .officers . would .be .called .upon .to .carry .a .weapon .Finally, .as .it .fell .within .the .reasonable .discretion . of .the .Respondent .to .designate .posts .as .armed .posts, .the .Tribunal .determined .that .every . officer, .including .the .Applicant, .might .be .called .upon .to .bear .arms

      With .respect .to .the .surrounding .circumstances .of .her .employment, .the .Tribunal .held . that .based .on .the .very .nature .of .her .position .as .a .Security .Officer, .the .Applicant .knew, . or .should .have .known, .that .carrying .a .firearm, .when .required, .was .a .condition .of .her . employment .Rejecting .the .Applicant’s .argument .that .carrying .a .firearm .ought .not .to .be . a .pre-requisite .to .performing .security .functions, .the .Tribunal .found .that .the .decision .to . arm .security .officers .is .a .policy .decision, .within .the .discretionary .authority .of .the .Secretary-General, .and .that .it .was .not .the .Tribunal’s .role .to .substitute .its .views .for .those .of .the . Secretary-General .or .the .General .Assembly .on .how .best .to .manage .the .Organization

      Insofar .as .the .Applicant’s .claims .that .the .Respondent’s .decision .had .been .arbitrary . and .discriminatory .were .concerned, .the .Tribunal .recalled .its .longstanding .jurisprudence . that .it .would .not .substitute .its .judgement .for .that .of .the .Secretary-General .in .personnel . matters .unless .his .discretion .was .shown .to .have .been .vitiated .The .onus probandi .is .on .the . staff .member .making .such .allegations .and, .in .this .case, .the .Applicant .had .not .provided . the .necessary .proof .in .order .to .meet .her .burden

      Accordingly, .the .Tribunal .rejected .the .Application .in .its .entirety

    2. Judgement No. 1234 (22 July 2005): Applicant v...

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