Lanner v Secretary-General of the OEEC (Decision No 31)

JurisdictionEuropean Union
Date21 March 1960
CourtAppeals Board (Organization for European Economic Cooperation)
Appeals Board of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation.

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

Secretary-General of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (Decision No. 31).

International organization — Officials — Salary increases — Cost of living index — Resolution of O.E.E.C. Council — Powers of Secretary-General — Interpretation — Practice — Travaux préparatoires — Constituent Treaty — Costs.

The Facts.—On June 26, 1958, the Council of the O.E.E.C. passed a resolution laying down the principle that the salaries of officials should be periodically reviewed, to keep pace with the cost of living index. In 1959 the Secretary-General refused to increase Mr. Lanner's salary, despite a rise in the cost of living. Mr. Lanner lodged an appeal on December 30, 1959, claiming a 5 per cent. increase in his salary and expatriation allowance for the period from July 1, 1959, to January 31, 1960. In the event of the Board failing to uphold this claim, he claimed NF. 1,100 damages as compensation for the loss which he had suffered. He also claimed costs and the return of his security.

Held: that the appeal must be rejected. The resolution of June 26, 1958, provided that salaries should keep broadly in step with the cost of living index, but it did not bind the Council to grant automatic increases as soon as the cost of living rose; nor did it allow the Secretary-General to grant increases without obtaining the approval of the Council. This interpretation was based on the travaux préparatoires of the resolution, on subsequent practice, and on certain broad principles laid down in the constituent Treaty and Staff Regulations. The appeal was therefore dismissed. However, as the Secretary-General had conceded part of Mr. Lanner's original claim, he was condemned to pay costs.

The Board said: “Mr. Lanner has duly deposited the security provided for by Staff Rule 66 (d).

“After taking time for deliberation, the Board pronounces the following decision.

“On December 30, 1959, Mr. Lanner, at that time an official in the Organization's employment, appealed to the Appeals Board against the implied decision whereby the Secretary-General had rejected his request for the payment of a 5 per cent. increase in his salary from July 1, 1959 to January 31, 1960, the date on which Mr. Lanner's contract was to come to an end as a result of his resignation.

“In his written defence, the Secretary-General maintained that he did...

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