Cauro v Secretary-General of the OEEC (No 1) (Decision No 33)

JurisdictionEuropean Union
CourtAppeals Board (Organization for European Economic Cooperation)
Date26 July 1961
Appeals Board of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation.

(Hambro, Chairman; Sir Alvary Gascoigne and Toutée, Members.)

Secretary-General of the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation (No. 1) (Decision No. 33).

International organization — Officials — Administrative tribunals — Procedure — Competence to order discovery of documents.

The Facts.—On April 27, 1961, Mr. Raphael Cauro lodged an appeal, requesting: (i) annulment of the decision of February 23, 1961, by which the Secretary-General had terminated his contract with effect from July 1, 1961; or, in the absence of reinstatement, payment of 70,000 NF. by way of damages; and (ii) 1,000 NF. as costs.

Held (in an interlocutory judgment1): that both the Staff Rules and general principles of law empowered the Board to order discovery of all documents which might be useful for the consideration of the case.

The Board said: “Mr. Cauro has duly deposited the security provided for in the Organization's Staff Rule 66 (d).

“In support of his plea for the annulment of the decision dated February 23, 1961, by which the Secretary-General of the Organization terminated his contract, Mr. Cauro relied, inter alia, on the

allegation that the decision, although apparently motivated by the abolition of his post, constituted in reality a disguised form of disciplinary dismissal, taking place without the procedure applicable to disciplinary measures. In order to prove his allegations, he asked the Board to order the production of administrative documents which he thought were in the Organization's hands. For his own part, the representative of the Secretary-General, while expressing his readiness to produce some of these documents, denied that others had any connection with the action

“It must be observed that nothing would have prevented the claimant from making his request during the written pleadings, since he knew of the existence of the documents in question and had, in any case, referred to them in his statement of claim. In view of the nature of the procedure, the Board regrets that this method was not followed. However, the exact importance, for the judgment of the action, of some of the documents in question may only have become apparent during the oral arguments, so the Board will not rule the claimant's request out of court.

“According to Staff Rule 71 (c).

‘The Appeals Board may require the production of any document which it deems useful for the consideration of the appeal...

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