X v Secretary-General of the OEEC (Decision No 17)

JurisdictionEuropean Union
Date11 September 1952
CourtAppeals Board (Organization for European Economic Cooperation)
Appeals Board of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation.
Decision No. 17.

International organization — Officials — Time-limits for bringing claims — Home leave and annual leave — Estoppel — Relationship between Staff Rules and official commentary thereon.

The Facts.—On August 8, 1952, Mr. X. lodged an appeal, requesting (a) annulment of the decision, dated May 12, 1952, by which the Secretary-General refused to grant him home leave in the form of an allowance corresponding to the eight days of leave in question, plus payment of a sum equivalent to the price of two return tickets from Paris to Athens; and (b) annulment of the decision, dated July 11, 1952, by which the Secretary-General refused to grant him an allowance corresponding to unused annual leave.

Held: (i) that the appeal against the decision of May 12, 1952, had not been brought within the statutory time-limit of 40 days, but that the Board would exercise its power to waive the time-limit in view of the connection between the decisions of May 12 and July 11, 1952, which had been recognized by the Administration;

(ii) that the claimant had no home in Greece and was therefore not entitled to home leave there. The fact that the Administration had granted him home leave in 1950, for special reasons, did not estop it from denying his entitlement to home leave for subsequent years;

(iii) that the claimant had lost his right to annual leave, by lapse of time. An official commentary by the Secretary-General on the Staff Rules, allowing annual leave to be carried forward to later years, could not override the contrary provisions of the Staff Rules.

The Board said: “Mr. X.'s appeal against the Organization's decision of May 12, 1952, refusing to grant him home leave, as provided for in Staff Rule 38, was not lodged until August 8, 1952, i.e., more than forty days after the notification of the decision impugned, contrary to Staff Rule 66 (b).

“However, a second claim by Mr. X., seeking to obtain an allowance corresponding to the days of annual leave which had not been used, was not rejected by the Organization until July 11, 1952, and Mr. X. did not transmit his first appeal to the Board because he thought that the two appeals were connected. Indeed, it appears from the statements made by the Organization's representatives that they, too, considered the two appeals to be connected, and that they encouraged Mr. X. to deal with them both in a single action.

“Mr. X.'s second appeal was lodged...

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