IFAD Request for Advisory Opinion

On 26 The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) made a request for an advisory opinion to the International Court of Justice related to a judgment rendered by an administrative court, the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization.

The case involves a staff member of the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Ms S-G., had a fixed-term contract of employment which was due to conclude on 15 March 2006, but when her contract was not renewed, she appealed to various organs of IFAD, which houses the Global Mechanism;.  She filed an appeal with the Joint Appeals Board, which recommended in December 2007 that Ms S-G. be reinstated within the Global Mechanism for a period of two years and paid an amount equivalent to all the salaries, allowances and entitlements she had lost since March 2006. The President of IFAD rejected this decision in April 2008.

Since this approach was not successful, Ms S-G. filed a complaint against IFAD with the Administrative Tribunal on 8 July 2008. In her objection, Ms S-G. asked requested the Tribunal to order IFAD to re-establish her, for a minimum of two years, in her previous post or an equivalent post with retroactive effect from 15 March 2006, and to ensure her monetary compensation equivalent to the losses suffered as a result of the non-renewal of her contract.

The  judgment No. 2867 (S-G. v. IFAD), delivered on 3 February 2010, states that the Tribunal has jurisdiction under Article II of its Statute  and rejects the decision of the President of IFAD and ordered him  to pay the complaint damages equivalent to the salary and other allowances she would have received if her contract had been extended for two years from 16 March 2006, together with moral damages in the sum of €10,000 and costs in the amount of €5,000.

The Executive Board of IFAD decided to challenge the Tribunal’s decision and refer the question of the validity of the judgment to the ICJ for an advisory opinion. 

By an order  of 29 April 2010, the ICJ  established that:
-the 29 October 2010 is the time-limit within which written statements on these questions may be presented to the Court; 
-the 31 January 2011 is the time-limit within which States and organizations having presented written statements may submit written comments on the other written statements.

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