X v Secretary-General of the OEEC (Decision No 27)

JurisdictionEuropean Union
CourtAppeals Board (Organization for European Economic Cooperation)
Date15 March 1957
Appeals Board of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation.
Decision No. 27.

International organization — Officials — Termination of contract — Détournement de procédure.

The Facts.—On October 31, 1956, the Secretary-General terminated Mr. X.'s contract, as from January 1, 1957. On December 19, 1956, Mr. X. lodged an appeal against this decision, arguing that the termination was a disguised disciplinary sanction and was therefore invalid because of the failure to follow the statutory procedure prescribed in disciplinary cases.

Held: that the appeal must be rejected. Since Mr. X.'s breaches of discipline were not the true cause of his termination, there was no obligation to follow the statutory procedure prescribed for disciplinary cases. The decision was valid.

The Board said: “Mr. X. has duly deposited the security provided for by Rule 66 (d) of the Organization's Staff Rules.

“Mr. X. has appealed against a decision, dated October 31, 1956, by which the Secretary-General of the Organization terminated his contract. He submits that this step, taking place as a result of facts of a disciplinary nature, had the character of a sanction, and that he had thereby been improperly deprived of the guarantees which the Staff Regulations and Rules grant to officials threatened with disciplinary sanctions.

“Mr. X. was the holder of a contract of indefinite duration. By virtue of Rule 5 of the Organization's Staff Rules, contracts of this type may be terminated at any moment with a certain period of notice, subject to an indemnity which is determined by Rule 22, implementing Article 11 (iii) of the Staff Regulations.

“On the other hand, Chapter VIII of the Staff Rules (Rules 48 et seq.) regulates staff discipline and the procedure to be followed when applying disciplinary measures, particularly when disciplinary dismissal is proposed.

“The above-mentioned provisions concerning termination cannot be interpreted as being capable of applying only to officials who give complete satisfaction, others being in some way guaranteed against their application. Therefore, the existence of facts likely to give rise to a disciplinary sanction is not by itself enough to prove the irregularity of a decision of termination, if it does not appear from the circumstances of the case that these facts were the true cause of the termination.

“The written evidence shows that the procedure of termination was set in motion against Mr. X. during September 1956, just after certain...

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