Administrative tribunals

(1)     The draft statute and the attitude of the agencies towards use of the UN Administrative Tribunal were discussed at the 6th and 11th sessions (July 1949 and 1951: CC/A.6/Rev.1, CC/A.11/SR.4/Add.1, CO-ORDINATION-PREP/133, CO-ORDINATION/R.93). There is a separate, and older, ILO Tribunal, which is used (except for pension matters) by ILO, WHO, FAO, UNESCO, ITU, WMO, UPU, WIPO, IFAD, GATT and IAEA, as well as by CERN and several other non-UN organizations.

(2)     At the 15th session (1954: CO-ORDINATION/R.162) CCAQ discussed the terms of a draft agreement drawn up by the UN Legal Department, establishing the basis for the use by agencies of the UN Administrative Tribunal for pension appeals. At the 18th session (March 1957: CO-ORDINATION/R.245, paras. 24 and 25) CCAQ noted an agreement among several administrations whereby the UN Tribunal's judgements on pension matters should be final and without appeal. The legal offices of the organizations concerned would submit to ACC a proposal for amending the statute of the Tribunal so as to implement the agreed principle.

(3)     At its 30th session (March 1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.733, paras. 39-41) CCAQ agreed to recommend to the Pension Board that the Pension Fund should bear the extra costs of sessions of the UN Tribunal which resulted from the hearing of pension cases. UN would bear the basic costs of the sessions, such as fares of Tribunal members, even when no appeals were directed against UN itself. In this way only the additional costs of extending the sessions, such as DSA payments, would fall on other organizations or the Pension Fund.

(4)     At its 47th session (August 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1237, paras. 35-36) CCAQ agreed on arrangements for carrying out a review of recourse procedures.

(5)     At its 49th session (July 1978: CO-ORDINATION/R.1294, paras. 48-49) CCAQ decided to establish a joint CCAQ/FICSA Working Group on Recourse Procedures. The working group, at its first meeting in February 1979, decided that priority should be given to study of the feasibility of establishing a single administrative tribunal for the entire common system, as proposed in General Assembly resolution 33/119. It entrusted the study to a consultant.

(6)     The consultant's report (CCAQ/PER/R.107 and Add.1) was reviewed at a further meeting of the working group in September 1979, and transmitted to a meeting of legal advisers for their comments. At the first part of its 52nd session (January 1980: ACC/1980/4, para. 34) CCAQ agreed to recommend to ACC that further work in this area be entrusted to an ad hoc working group of legal advisers, to be undertaken in consultation with the secretariats of the Tribunals and with staff participation as required.

(7)     For the decision of the ILO Administrative Tribunal on the salary rates recommended by ICSC in 1987 for the General Service and related categories in Vienna, see section 2.3, para. (64).

(8)     At its 80th session (February 1994: ACC/1994/4, paras. 104-111) CCAQ considered a note by the United Nations on the subject of decisions of Administrative Tribunals, prepared in response to a request by the General Assembly (resolution 48/224 VI) to the Secretary-General and the executive heads of the common system to consult fully with the UNJSPB and the ICSC in cases that were before the UN Administrative or the ILO Tribunal and which involved them and to examine, in consultation with ICSC and UNJSPB, the feasibility of, inter alia, amending the statute of the International Civil Service Commission and/or the relationship agreements between the United Nations and the other organizations of the common system, with a view to ensuring a coordinated response in all appeals involving the conditions of service of staff of the common system. As further consultations between organizations' Legal Officers were necessary, the Committee agreed to pursue the matter at its next session.

(9)     At its 81st session (June 1994: ACC/1994/14, paras. 187-189) CCAQ considered a further note by the United Nations on action undertaken in response to the General Assembly's requests in resolution 48/224. The United Nations considered that the General Assembly might invite Governing Bodies of the common system organizations to instruct the executive heads to inform the Executive Secretaries of ICSC and the UNJSPB promptly of pending litigation involving matters within their respective spheres of competence. The majority of the organizations had no objection to inviting the judges of the Tribunals to revise the procedures in order to allow ICSC or UNJSPB to make a submission as amicus curiae, provided that such submissions were limited to the provision of technical information. Other organizations did not consider such an approach to be appropriate. A third group considered that ACC should be invited to urge organizations to ensure that ICSC was consulted on appeals relating to common system matters in order to obtain all relevant information.

(10) At its sixteenth session in New York (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 65-66), the HR Network:
o    Welcomed the move to more informal conflict resolution, but expressed concern about the increased cost and the potential impact on the authority of Executive Heads;
o    Raised questions regarding the harmonization with the ILO Administrative Tribunal (AT), though members made the distinction between harmonizing principles and rights and harmonizing implementation structures. Many agreed with harmonizing the former, but would not be able to afford the latter. ILO reported that the members of the AT had come together to assess the system and had concluded that it was relatively effective;
o    Expressed concerns about the revised office of the Ombudsperson and its effectiveness in conjunction with these new tribunals;
o    Stated that the system should be less reactive and focus more on training managers to ensure responsible management and due process;
o    Requested the UN and Funds and Programmes to keep the full Network informed as the new system is implemented.

(11) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/3, paras.39-40), HLCM took note of the Reform of the Internal Administration of Justice System, as outlined in her briefing by ASG for HR Management, Catherine Pollard.

The Committee recommended that member organizations commit to a coordinated approach to dealing with the Reform of the Internal Administration of Justice System, through the HR Network and other bodies, as appropriate. Timely and detailed information sharing as implementation progresses on both these crucial reforms remains essential to ensure that a consistent system-wide approach is preserved.

(12) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/27, para. 31), the HR Network was briefed on the final resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its 63rd Session on the Administration of Justice; Took note of the developments in the establishment of a new, independent, transparent, professionalized adequately resourced and decentralized system of administration of justice.  Also noted that further details and development will be presented at the Summer Session; And thanked the UN for the follow-up and welcomed future updates on the subject.

(13) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/6, paras.25-33), HLCM agreed to hold a thematic discussion at the next meeting on the new system for Administration of Justice, including on the positions of the ILO Administrative Tribunal.

(14) At its nineteenth session (CEB/2010/3, paras.40-46), the Committee took note of the report on the Administration of Justice system and of the briefing on the ILO Administrative Tribunal. It supported the recommendation that interested organisations consult on common approaches and best practices and report on this to the HLCM 2010 fall session. It requested the CEB Secretariat to convene the first meeting of a group of interested organizations as soon as possible.  


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