Rules (100 series)
JAB Rules=Rules of Procedure and Guidelines of the Joint Appeals Board at
Headquarters, New York,
file an appeal?
active or former staff member holding or having held a contract under the
100, 200 or 300 series of the United Nations SRs who feels that an
administrative decision has affected his or her terms of employment
adversely. See JAB Rule I.A.(25) and (26).
What is an administrative decision?
According to the UN Administrative Tribunal’s jurisprudence (see, for
example, UNAT judgment No. 1157 Andronov),
an administrative decision is “a
unilateral decision taken by the administration in a precise individual case
(individual administrative act), which produces direct legal consequences to
the legal order. Thus, the administrative decision is distinguished from
other administrative acts, such as those having regulatory power (which are
usually referred to as rules or regulations), as well as from those not
having direct legal consequences. Administrative decisions are therefore
characterized by the fact that they are taken by the Administration, they are
unilateral and of individual application, and they carry direct legal
consequences. They are not necessarily written… These unwritten
decisions are commonly referred to, within administrative law systems, as
implied administrative decisions”.
kind of administrative decisions are appealable?
An administrative decision, as defined above, when and if it does not observe
or directly affects your rights as a staff member under the terms of your
appointment, including all pertinent regulations, rules, administrative instructions
and issuances. Typically contested decisions are those related to the due
process rights in promotion and selection reviews, establishment and
modification of entitlements and benefits, non-extension of appointment.
been informed of a decision in writing, but it hasn't been implemented
yet--may I still file an appeal?
Yes, you can appeal a decision, which was not yet implemented. Furthermore,
after you filed a request for administrative review or appeal against such a
decision but before a JAB Panel was established to consider your appeal, you
can also file a request for suspension of action on the contested
decision, provided you would be able to demonstrate that the implementation
of the contested decision will cause direct and irreparable injury to your
rights as a staff member (SR 111.2 (c) (i) and (ii)). Due to the logistics of
setting up a JAB Panel to hear a request for suspension of action and also
time needed to finalize the Panel’s report and get it reviewed/approved
by the Secretary-General, never wait until the last minute with the
submission of such a request. Remember that once the decision is implemented,
your request for suspension of action on such a decision will automatically
the UN Staff Regulations and Rules do not contain a definition of
“irreparable injury” for the purposes of Staff Rule 111.2 (c)
(ii). Therefore, the only guidance available for you and for the JAB Panels,
are definitions provided by specialized dictionaries of legal terms, like,
for example, online law dictionary at law.dictionary.com, where “irreparable damage or injury” is
defined as “the type of harm
which no monetary compensation can cure or put conditions back the way they were,
such as cutting down shade trees, polluting a stream, not giving a child
needed medication, not supporting an excavation which may cause collapse of a
building, tearing down a structure, or a host of other actions or omissions”.
Definitions provided in most popular and respected general dictionaries of
current language, like, for example, the New Oxford Dictionary of English,
may also be useful and helpful.
the JAB reevaluate my performance appraisal?
According to Staff Rule 111.2 (k) a JAB Panel does not have competence
to review questions of relative efficiency, like, for example, staff
member’s performance. Also according to ST/AI/2002/3, the PAS
ratings resulting from an appraisal that has not been rebutted, or from
the rebuttal process, may not be subject to further appeal to JAB. However,
you may appeal administrative decisions that stem from any final performance
appraisal and that affect your conditions of service. If you want your
PAS appraisal to be reevaluated on the merits, you will have to file
a rebuttal statement and request establishment of a Rebuttal Panel.
Can I appeal against the decision to
separate me from the Organization on the grounds of unsatisfactory
Yes, you can
appeal against such a decision. However, the JAB’s review of your case
will only be limited to the evidence that the decision was motivated by
prejudice or by some other extraneous factor with the burden of proof of
prejudice or bias being on you.
get the promotion I wanted even though I'm obviously more qualified than the
successful candidate -- can the JAB look at my superior credentials and give
me my promotion?
While you can, in principle, appeal against the decision not to promote you
(or not to select you for the post), the JAB will not have competence to look
at your qualifications and suitability for the post as such or in relation to
other candidates. As already explained above with regard to other
actions/decisions on grounds of inefficiency or relative efficiency, the JAB
can only consider the evidence to be presented by you that the decision was
motivated by prejudice and/or bias and/or was carried out/taken with serious
violations of the established process. The substantive question of efficiency
does not fall within the JAB mandate.
How do I file an appeal?
See How to file an appeal.
In what languages may an appeal be filed?
Submissions to the JAB may be in either English or French unless
specifically authorized (JAB Rule III.I.2).
How much time do I have to file an appeal?
As a first step, you must address a letter to the Secretary-General
requesting that the administrative decision in question be reviewed.
Such a request shall be submitted within two months from the date you
received notification of the decision in writing. The staff member shall submit a copy of the letter to the executive head of his or her department, office, fund or programme.* (SR 111.2(a)), or,
in the case of an unwritten (implied) administrative decision, within
two months from the date you knew or should have known of that unwritten
decision. Your time limit for submitting your statement of appeal will
depend on whether you receive a reply to your request for administrative
review (SR 111.2(a)(i)) or not (SR 111.2(a)(ii)).
I don't think I can have my statement of appeal finished on time. Can I
get an extension?
You can ask for an extension of the existing deadline for submitting your
appeal. To do that, you should send as soon as possible a written request
either to the Presiding Officer of the JAB or to the Secretary of the JAB
Secretariat, wherein you should briefly describe the contested decision, when
and by whom it was made, when and how you were notified about it as well as
the difficulties for submitting your appeal within the established
time-limits. Alternatively, you may send us a completed appeals form (JAB Rule III.E). It is highly desirable
that you submit your request for extension, if any, at least one week before
the official deadline so that to give sufficient time to review your request
and notify the Respondent Representative. Note that only one extension would
be allowed for a maximum of one month.
appeals process require that I appear for a hearing?
Staff Rule 111.2 (i) allows a staff member to arrange to have his/her
appeal presented to the panel on his or her behalf by counsel. It is
up to a JAB panel to determine whether there is a need for a hearing.
How long does the appeals process take?
See JAB Timeline.
May I retain counsel?
Yes. Any person in good standing, whether inside the UN system or
not, may serve as counsel for assistance in presenting, settling or
conciliating an appeal or request for suspension of action (SR 111.2(i)).
You can find such a person totally on your own or through the Office
of the Coordinator of the Panel of Counsel.
UN offer counsel for free?
Yes. Counsels available through the Office of the Coordinator of the Panel of Counsel are expected
to provide their assistance free of charge. The Panel of Counsel is
basically a roster of qualified counsels who have agreed to volunteer
their time to assist Appellants in preparing and presenting their appeals.
The Office of the Coordinator of the Panel of Counsel is located at
Headquarters in room S-1B-1. The Coordinator’s phone number is
212-963-3954 and fax number is 212-963-0252. E-mail inquiries shall
be sent to the following address: email@example.com.
Can the JAB reverse an administrative decision?
No. The JAB is an advisory body and only makes recommendations in
the form of JAB Panel’s reports which are forwarded to the Secretary-General,
who then makes the final decision (SR 111.2(p)).
What rules govern the appeal process?
Article XI of the Staff Regulations, Chapter XI of the Staff Rules
and the Rules of Procedure and Guidelines of the Joint Appeals Board
at Headquarters duty station.
Do I get a copy of the JAB's report after my case has been completed?
Yes. A copy of the JAB report on your case shall be provided to you
by the Secretary-General’s Representative together with the Secretary-General’s
final decision on the JAB Panel’s report.
The JAB's report recommended against my appeal, and the Secretary-General
agreed. Is there anything I can do now?
Yes. You may submit an application to the United Nations Administrative Tribunal
within 90 days of receiving the Secretary-General's decision.
The JAB's report recommended in favour of my appeal, and the Secretary-General
disagreed. Is there anything I can do now?
Yes. Once again, you may submit an application to the United Nations
within 90 days of receiving the Secretary-General's decision.
I was notified by the JAB that my case was completed and its report
submitted to the Secretary-General, but I still don't know the Secretary-General's
final decision. May I still submit an application to the United Nations
Yes. If the Secretary-General failed to make a decision on the JAB
report within thirty days following receipt of the report, you may file
an application to the United Nations Administrative Tribunal
within 90 days reckoned after the 30 days. To do that you must first
request a copy of the JAB Panel report on your case directly from the
JAB Secretariat. (SR 111.2(q)).
6 May 2005.
* Updated 1 January 2006..