Application for Review of Judgment No. 273 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal
Overview of the case
A former staff member of the United Nations Secretariat had challenged the Secretary-General’s refusal to pay him a repatriation grant unless he produced evidence of having relocated upon retirement. By a judgment of 15 May 1981, the United Nations Administrative Tribunal had found that the staff member was entitled to receive the grant and, therefore, to compensation for the injury sustained through its non-payment. The injury had been assessed at the amount of the repatriation grant of which payment had been refused. The United States Government addressed an application for review of this judgment to the Committee on Applications for Review of Administrative Tribunal Judgements, and the Committee requested an advisory opinion of the Court on the correctness of the decision in question. In its Advisory Opinion of 20 July 1982, the Court, after pointing out that a number of procedural and substantive irregularities had been committed, decided nevertheless to comply with the Committee’s request, whose wording it interpreted as really seeking a determination as to whether the Administrative Tribunal had erred on a question of law relating to the provisions of the United Nations Charter, or had exceeded its jurisdiction or competence. As to the first point, the Court said that its proper role was not to retry the case already dealt with by the Tribunal, and that it need not involve itself in the question of the proper interpretation of United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules further than was strictly necessary in order to judge whether the interpretation adopted by the Tribunal had been in contradiction with the provisions of the Charter. Having noted that the Tribunal had only applied what it had found to be the relevant Staff Regulations and Staff Rules made under the authority of the General Assembly, the Court found that the Tribunal had not erred on a question of law relating to the provisions of the Charter. As to the second point, the Court considered that the Tribunal’s jurisdiction included the scope of Staff Regulations and Rules and that it had not exceeded its jurisdiction or competence.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.