The 125th session of the ILOAT published in January was so successful for the EPO that Laurent Germond, Director Employment Law, published a glowing report on the EPO intranet.
The report opens with judgment 3971: "Ensuring the well-functioning of the EPO Internal Appeals Committee (former IAC)"
Laurent Germond continues:
"In Judgement No 3971, the Tribunal confirmed the decision of the President to discipline for serious misconduct and to downgrade a former member of the ApC, Mr A.P., appointed by the Central Staff Committee, who obstructed the work of the Committee. The Tribunal considered in particular that "the complainant's refusal to attend the IAC hearings and sessions was particularly onerous for the Organisation considering the heavy backlog of internal appeals that the IAC needed to confront." "
The text of judgment 3971 can be found here:
Märpel notes that Mr. Germond knows the jurisprudence of AT-ILO as he wrote his thesis and a book on the subject. He therefore cannot ignore that AT-ILO used to balance the interests of the employers with the particular needs for protection of the staff representatives. If you have a copy of Laurent Germond's "Les principes généraux selon le tribunal administratif de l'O.I.T", check pages 160-170. He therefore should be surprised of the stark departure from that jurisprudence in that judgment.
The events concerning Mr Aurelien Petiaud are known from all the EPO. They took place in 2014. At the time, Mr Petiaud found it necessary to protest the way the appeal committee was run under President Battistelli's orders. It was run as a purely rubber-stamping affair and since the members chosen by staff were in minority, cases were lost. Mr Petiaud protested and took a courageous decision: on each case he took the time to write a minority opinion (see judgment point 16), thereby documenting the malfunctioning of the committee.
President Battistelli was not amused and simply increased the workload to a point where there was no time to write these opinions and still attend the sessions. Mr Petiaud refused and publicly explained why he took that decision, in agreement with SUEPO. To all EPO staff, it was clear that this was a political message and not a refusal to carry out his duties.
But AT-ILO found differently. Märpel may only wonder at what the "L" in "ILO" stands for. It used to stand for "labour".