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Complaints within International Organizations: Who is Competent to Decide?

Updated: Mar 4, 2022


Modulaw is an international law firm based in Vienna and Perth. Its core activity is providing legal representation and advisory services to international civil servants regarding international labour law. Modulaw is currently engaged in a case of denial of justice concerning two former EUFOR consultants, the international civilian and military forces engaged in EU peacekeeping missions in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy. The main issue raised by international civilian consultants (ICCs) is the unequal treatment between them and the national employees and staff members, namely LCHs (Local Civilian Hires). The latter had a similar contractual situation to ICCs prior to some improvements concerning only those operating inside EUFOR. The issue has been going on for two and a half years now; during this period, Ludovica Moro and Neha Dubey, Modulaw’s managing partners, following the denial of competence to entertain the complaint by EUFOR’s chain of command, have been seeking to identify an alternative forum to hold the case.

1. International Disputes

Every jurisdiction has its own rules that regulate and define the matters falling within the competence of the courts. Therefore, the resolution of civil, criminal and international disputes takes place in the respective court venues. In the framework of international law, the Permanent Court of International Justice, in its judgement of 1924, defined international disputes as “a disagreement on a point of law or fact, a conflict of legal views or interests between two persons.”[1]

Due to the customary and binding legislation banning the use of force to settle international disputes, the United Nations Charter has acknowledged the obligation for States to resolve disputes “by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”[2].

2. International Organizations

What happens when disputes involve international organizations (IOs) from the inside?

These organizations are bodies with a permanent institutional structure created by States via international agreements to reach common goals through humanitarian activities.[3] “The founding treaties of these international organizations are different from other international agreements since they create permanent, autonomous institutional structures with an international subjectivity distinct from that of its member states.”[4]

It is important to note that having an international legal personality is an essential requirement for all IOs; this legal personality entitles IOs to carry out crucial external actions such as participating in activities of other IOs.

Being a subject of international law means being a holder of international rights and duties. This subjectivity has a functional purpose because, unlike countries, these organizations do not have general powers; they only have conferred powers laid down in their founding treaties (the so-called principle of specialty).[5]

3. Labour Relations within International Organizations

International organizations must provide their staff members fair working conditions and effective means to settle disputes. This requirement not only stems from the immunity proper to all international organizations,[6] but it mirrors the goal of these organizations to attract and retain a talented and diversified workforce, offering a decent working environment. The growing number of employees affected by unfair managerial decisions of international organizations, as well as the growing number of labour disputes brought before a court, underline the need of improving IOs ability to successfully prevent and manage these disputes.[7]

The difference between a labour relation under national law and one under the rules of an international organization is that the former abides by a precise and well-structured protection scheme based on reliable sources, while the latter is subject to a far more limited regulatory system that lacks uniformity. Generally, besides the employment contract, the system is derived from the Staff Rules and Regulations, which vary in each organization and set out the duties and obligations of the organization towards their staff members (and vice versa), as well as the procedures that staff members can rely upon to ensure that organizations act in a fair and consistent manner.

4. Disputes within International Organizations

Organizations are self-regulated via an autonomous mechanism for employment dispute settlement.

The employee can appeal the decision of the competent authority through a procedure normally called a Request for Review. If the competent authority decides not to reconsider the decision, or it cannot do it, employees must turn to an Appeal board. Should the employee be still dissatisfied with the outcome, he/she can turn to an external court, usually the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) or the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT).[8] It is important to underline that this is the appeal system in non-military international organizations because military organizations generally follow different procedures that are informed by the “Chain of Command”. The chain of command is an organizational structure that defines how each member of an organization should report to a superior officer. The structure aims to distribute power and responsibility: the chain ensures that every employee is responsible for their work, but that they still have a senior leader giving them the support, encouragement and motivation they need. The departments of the organizations subject to the chain of command might be subject to both a military command and a civilian command.[9]

5. The EUFOR Case

5.1 NATO and EUFOR

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is one of the leading international institutions in the world. NATO is a military and political alliance between 30 member states from Europe and North America. These countries gather to debate and cooperate in the field of defence and security. The founding treaty of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty, was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949.[10]

NATO's intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a series of actions which began in February 1992 and whose stated objective was to establish long-term peace during and after the war in Bosnia. NATO's SFOR peacekeepers remained in Bosnia from 1996 until 2004. Subsequently, an agreement was reached on the EU's use of NATO assets and capabilities, the Berlin Plus Agreement, which was put into practice in 2003 with the launch of the EU's first military operation in Macedonia: Concordia. This provided not only the EU but also the United States with confidence that the EU would be able to meet expectations in taking over the Bosnia and Herzegovina military operation from NATO.

For this reason, in 2004, the EU took over from NATO with the UN mandated operation EUFOR "Althea" (UNSCR 1551 of July 9, 2004), with the objective of maintaining the security of the region.

In this regard, the fact that EUFOR Althea has taken the place of a previous NATO operation using its assets is of particular interest in assessing the position and role of the military instrument in EU foreign policy.

In line with the Euro-Atlantic position, EUFOR's mandate and troop numbers remained similar to those of SFOR. In addition, NATO remained present with a more robust operational capability than just an advisory or support presence.

The UN has progressively outsourced its operations of stabilization and restoration of security thanks to the authorization of the Security Council, given before to NATO, and then to the EU, a qualified regional player able to carry out multiple tasks in the framework of collective peacekeeping support operations.[11] It is a multinational stabilization force and the legal successor to NATO's SFOR, deployed to ensure continued compliance with the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement and contribute to a Safe and Secure Environment (SASE) in BiH.[12] Althea even offers advice to modernize Bosnian armed forces and supports local police officers if they are not able to perform their duties in the fight against organized crime. It follows that EU and NATO have developed a strong institutional cooperation, however, the nature of that cooperation remains unclear insofar as it concerns the division of each organization’s mandate over employment issues.

5.2 NATO and the EU

Unlike many other multilateral institutions that cooperate with the EU, NATO is not just a partner, it is almost an opponent. While cooperation and burden sharing are crucial aspects enshrined since their foundation to avoid competition and duplication of efforts between the two organizations, in practice it has been difficult to follow these principles. Conversely, parallel practices were often put in place.

The EU-NATO relation is based on the principles outlined in the Göteborg European Council of 2001, such as interoperability, visibility and decision-making autonomy. In turn, the subsequent declaration of December 2002[13] on the NATO-EU relation outlines the founding principles of the cooperation: a strategic partnership, that ensures mutual reinforcement during crisis management; the acknowledgement of their diversity in nature based on an efficient consultation mechanism; dialogue, cooperation and transparency; respect for the decision-making autonomy and the interests of each member state; compliance with the principles of the UN Charter; cohesive, transparent development and mutual reinforcement of the military capacity shared by the two organizations.[14]

A certain degree of overlap exists at every operational level between the two organizations, and this results in a blurred division of tasks and responsibilities. Anyway, both organizations managed to influence one another as key players in international security and defence policy.

5.3 The peculiarity of the case: unequal treatment between ICCs and LCHs

Modulaw represents clients who were working as international civil consultants (ICCs) in arms control.

On December 18, 2018, they lodged a formal complaint to their immediate supervisor concerning the application of the rules for civil servants at the headquarter of the operation in the framework of crisis response, under Article 33.2 of the CSR[15], which are the staff rules that govern employment complaints at EUFOR.

The core issue of the complaint was the unequal treatment between ICCs and the local civilians hired, the LCHs. Despite having the same role and responsibilities, ICCs’ employment contracts include different and less profitable rights than LCHs or other NATO international civilians (NIC) contracts.

The key issue to keep in mind in this analysis is the intent behind the unequal treatment of staff. From an employer's perspective, the rationale that should underlie the limited rights for ICCs is related to the fact that they are staff hired for a specific purpose and for a fixed period of time.

However, this rationale loses its meaning when their contracts are renewed, for years at a time and without interruption, thus fulfilling a long-term operational need. As their contracts are continually renewed, ICCs achieve de facto permanent staff status, and thus their status as consultants outside the organization is no longer meaningful, as there is no longer any difference between them and LCHs, and arguably, they should therefore have access to the same benefits.

However, more than two years after filing the complaint to their immediate supervisor, deemed as the competent authority by the CSR, the legitimate claims of Modulaw’s clients have not been tackled in substance nor in form. This is because the EUFOR chain of command and EU bodies and institutions have persistently refused their competence to entertain the complaint.

This behavior denies access to effective remedies for an alleged violation of the complainants.[16]

Indeed, Article 33.2 of the CSR enshrines that “Should a staff member have a complaint against the application of these Rules, the staff member will address his case initially to his immediate supervisor. If the complaint is against the immediate supervisor, the case will be addressed to the next higher level. Supervisors receiving such complaints will coordinate replies with the Civilian Human Resource Manager.

If the staff member is not satisfied, the staff member may go all the way up to the Commander, following the chain of command. If the complaint reaches the level of the Commander, the Commander will hear the staff member personally, and make a decision and his decision will be final.”[17]

Having unsuccessfully consulted all the decision-makers inside EUFOR, the clients turned to EU institutions to identify the competent authority to decide on the appeal. The European institutions consulted to no avail are as follows: the Head of the EU delegation to BiH, The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Commission Vice-President, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the chancellor of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Ombudsman[18].

NATO’s headquarters in Sarajevo and EUFOR were born from the ashes of the Stabilization Force, SFOR, NATO’s previous mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, there has not been any harmonization process of the legal framework of the conditions of employment. The documents regulating EUFOR employees’ status have been borrowed from NATO’s regulations without taking into account the employment legislation of each EU member state[19]. In particular, it seems that the legal framework applicable to EUOFR missions does not take into account the basic principle of EU labour law and the legislation of each member state.

Indeed, Article 34 – Social security and social assistance – paragraph 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines that “The Union recognises and respects the entitlement to social security benefits and social services providing protection in cases such as maternity, illness, industrial accidents, dependency or old age, and in the case of loss of employment, in accordance with the rules laid down by Union law and national laws and practices.”

Furthermore, Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the European Union enshrines that “The Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000, as adapted at Strasbourg, on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties”. At paragraph 3, the Treaty also states, “Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union's law.”

It seems that these key provisions are not currently applied to EUFOR ICCs staff members, who complain of unequal treatment and want to solve issues concerning their labour relations, without finding a clear regulatory framework or harmonized provisions within the legal and regulatory instruments of EUFOR.

6. Interview with Ludovica Moro and Neha Dubey, managing partners of Modulaw

In this interview, we have tried to analyze and better understand the core issues of this case. The interview was held in English and has been translated by the author[20]:

Vittoria: Ludovica and Neha, you operate in two different countries. How do you manage your work and cases like this one?
Ludovica: There is a reason for me and Neha being in two different countries. We used to work together in London. We met there and we liked each other’s work. We were partnered by our former chambers in the UK. When we left that chambers, we decided to continue our working relationship. Neha was previously based in the UK, but then with Covid she decided to go back to Australia, which is her home country. Therefore, we adapted to this situation, which in the end of the day is more convenient to take care of our clients, because we have many clients not only in Europe but also in Asia and South-Eastern Asia, and Australia is on the same time zone of many regional offices (such as WHO, UNAIDS etc.). Therefore, the fact that we can cover a number of time zones is quite convenient.
I also want to add that for the type of law we deal with, we don’t need to appear physically before courts and tribunals. Everything is done electronically, so I think this is an important aspect to consider and a reason why our partnership and our law firm works well, because we don’t need to actually travel and to appear physically at the UN in New York or in Geneva. There is rarely an occasion for an oral hearing, so that is also something to consider.
Vittoria: Is this the first time you have had a case like this where you are struggling to find the right forum?
Ludovica: I would say it’s the first time that we encountered this level of difficulty in finding the right forum for clients. Usually, the forum is easily identified in the internal rules of organizations or of the international entities that we are dealing with. There could be some disagreement regarding, for example, the consultants who are not included in UN staff rules and regulations; so you can argue that consultants are not covered by the UN Tribunal. But struggling to find a proper litigation forum for clients, I am pretty sure this is the first time, and I hope it will be the last one.
Neha: Yes, it’s a unique situation. In this case we have limited scope for administrative review, because there are indeed only two/three levels in the EUFOR chain of command. Further, in other organizations we always had more opportunities for informal resolution or, as a last resort, you can appeal directly to the Director General or to whoever is at the head of the organization. Here we have no transparency because EUFOR is a military organization, and I think this is the key distinguishing factor. In some organizations even if you have different levels of appeal, the actual decision keeps getting made by the same person. Here we don’t even know who is making the decision in the first place. It’s very strange.
Vittoria: There is in the end a lack of transparency. EUFOR seems to be under the European Union law but at the same time it takes something from NATO and so it creates a sort of limbo, right?
Neha: Exactly, EUFOR keeps saying they have civilian rules and that's the only thing they enforce, but if you study the chain of command online you can see that there is an overlap in authority with NATO.
Ludovica: I wanted to add that we are talking about civilian consultants: although in this case one of our clients was from the British Army and the other one from the Austrian Army, they were hired as consultants. Their specific role was checking the ammunitions and weapons available in the Balkans. The disarmament of the Balkans basically. They were hired as consultants, so they even enjoyed less benefits and rights than other Civil Servants of the European Union. So, they don’t have the same level of benefits and rights and that’s why this limbo has been created, mainly from the interplay between the EU and NATO Regulations that are translated in this Civilian Staff Rules that are applicable for the Balkans military mission. There is a certain level of confusion regarding who is dealing with whom and how they distribute their tasks among NATO and the European Union to the point that, as we have seen at the end of this almost three-year saga, the EU blames NATO and NATO blames the EU as to who is the competent authority to deal with the complaint. And this is something completely unacceptable.
Neha: Basically, we know what the different structures are, but we can’t identify the correct decision maker.
Ludovica: They use security classifications as a blanket to justify the lack of transparency and this ping pong game of “that’s not my responsibility but is someone else’s responsibility”.
Vittoria: The regulations are there, but there is a certain level of confusion as to the competent authority.
Ludovica: Exactly. The regulations are quite clear, and they say, “you go up the chain of command”, but the problem is that the chain of command doesn’t acknowledge their competence in entertaining the complaint, so it’s a matter of decision making.
Vittoria: When exactly did you begin to think that a case of denial of justice was looming?
Ludovica: At the beginning we were quite confident that the complaint would have followed the expected chain of command. I think I started feeling this sense of complete disregard of my clients’ rights and this sense of denial of justice when we reached the point that we had to write to NATO. So when we exhausted the chain of command within EUFOR and when they started to say that they didn’t have the competence in deciding the complaint, then it was the point where I started to think that something was wrong. When I had to call the European Court of Justice asking if they would be competent, they were kind of absolutely shocked from my question and they didn’t know what to say. They suggested that I contact the EU Ombudsman. This was one and half years ago. So, I would say that after one year of trying to escalate the complaint, we realized that that was a clear case of denial of justice.
Neha: My first dip of hope was when we had to go outside of the EUFOR chain of command, once we had gone through what the rules told us to do, and we had to come out with something else. We tried to get in touch with the EU Ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and afterwards, when we went to the Ombudsman we got to come back into a legal process, with rules and procedures to follow, I had a little hope again.
But when the Ombudsman went through a process to make EEAS provide a response, and after that said “you have to provide another question” asking the same thing we already asked one year ago, I think that was the moment in which I lost the most hope.
Ludovica: After one year, the Ombudsman considered the case closed because the European External Election Service already told us that they were not competent, but this didn’t solve the issue of: “which authority is competent to hear our clients’ complaint?”. So, the Ombudsman started the whole process again and sent this question to the European External Elections Service (EEAS). They responded taking months and months and months saying that we should go to NATO because they were not competent. In truth, if you skim through the European Union web site and the EUFOR website, you will find that EEAS is the organ supervising of all these military missions, including EUFOR. They need to be competent, or at least suggest the right way to go. So of course, we protested with the Ombudsman saying that we already contacted NATO. We are in this loop where no one is taking responsibility and I don’t think it makes any sense to insist with the Ombudsman because it’s clearly a waste of time.
Neha: I think it’s important to remember that when we first got our clients, they came to us because their colleagues in NATO were bringing basically the same claims against NATO in Belgium (NATO Headquarters is in Mons). So, when our clients came to us, we advised them that with EUFOR they would have all the European structures, institutions and rules to assist them, whereas NATO’s internal structures are not public information. So, in that context, we were hopeful that the EU system would be in our favor. About the Ombudsman I would not say that she was completely unhelpful because thanks to her intervention the EEAS answered us and that was minor progress. But again, the Ombudsman is constrained in what she can do and in her specific role, and we can’t ask her who is competent. Everyone is kind of confined by their own mandates. If the Ombudsman had said that EEAS was the competent authority to deal with this claim, the EEAS could answer that it’s not true and they would not have to follow what the Ombudsman was saying. The irony is that during these three years we have spent all of our time to confirm the proper forum and no one has even looked at the substantive complaint.
Vittoria: What about your clients? They are even retired now. How have these three years been for them?
Ludovica: Luckily the clients were really very understanding of the situation, and they know themselves that it is always difficult to get clear responses from the chain of command and from the European institutions. Although of course we were all frustrated by this lack of responsiveness, they never blamed us for not advancing their case. They know we did everything possible to get a response. For them it is a matter of principle, not a matter of money, but of equal treatment and justice. They are both retired now, and they just want to obtain some justice and, this became their mission.
Neha: The biggest disappointment is that when this process started, they still had two years until retirement, so in an ideal world they would have had an answer before they retired, but we exhausted all the options and still do not have an answer.
Vittoria: What are some proposals to ensure that a situation like that won’t happen again in the future? In the European Union but also in cases in which other rights are in this sort of limbo?
Ludovica: The clarity of the applicable law is fundamental, although in this case this is not what we are missing: the rules are very short and clear in stating what you are supposed to do to make an appeal or a claim and escalate it to the chain of command. It would help to have a clear structure reflecting the practice and reflecting the theory. The clarity of the structure of these institutions would be helpful. This applies to every international institution but, as I said at the beginning, it’s the first time that we found such an intricate case where no one is taking the responsibility for determining the claim.
In my view, my suggestion in any future case would be being clearer in the structure of authority and in the delegations of authority in dealing with this kind of claims.
Neha: Yes, like Ludovica said, this is the first case we have had like this and hopefully the last one. I would just add that another improvement would be to have an informal resolution option for this kind of administrative claim. When you are dealing with disciplinary or harassment claims it is not always appropriate to have informal resolution options, but in something like this, if there had been an informal procedure or a point of contact, I think it would have made a huge difference. We have not once had a single phone call with anyone in any of these agencies and it’s not for lack of trying, because we have sent all the formal pleadings and letters that we could, but also a number of without prejudice attempts to just have a call. Not even to offer anything, but just to have a phone call. This is my biggest recommendation. Another thing is that all of this happened in a very fixed set of circumstances. We don’t have any control over what the procedures are and we have no choice but to follow those rules, because if you try to skip any step, you risk that someone could say that you haven’t followed the procedures and that this makes the entire claim unreceivable, and usually you don’t have the luxury of time because the client would come to you, you have a deadline to comply with, and you need to rely on that formal procedure to start a discussion. So, you are quite restricted in what you can effectively do, and if there would be an option to lobby someone and have an informal discussion at some point, then I don’t know if we would necessarily be where we are today.
Ludovica: I would add to this that when you deal with military people it is more difficult to find a compromise and convince them that an applicable discussion would be more beneficial for every party involved. They tend to be very strict, so this is an additional problem when you are dealing with this kind of institution.
Vittoria: I imagine that it is difficult to compare? domestic legal systems to the military’s one?
Ludovica: They are not making any effort to apply the rules and regulations that are applicable to the staff members of EU to specific realities like that of EUFOR. It’s difficult to have an interplay between civilian staff rules and military rules. There is no mechanism in place to guarantee your rights when you belong to the military, but you are hired under the civilian rules system, which is not a military one. There needs to be a sort of interlink between the two different system, because otherwise it’s impossible to make them work.
Neha: It is usual for the military to handle they own affairs internally so that there is no interaction with any political institution. So it is quite surprising that EUFOR would not even want to deal with it in their own internal system.
Vittoria: What’s your hope from now on?
Ludovica: We have restarted the process with the European Union Support Group (EUSG). Like NATO, they have headquarters in Mons, Belgium. We hope that presenting the case again would push EUFOR to find a constructive solution to this problem.
Neha: My hope is much simpler and is just that anybody replies. We did everything we can and now we want to make someone care about the case. Not only for our clients, who have retired now, but also because we would like to resolve this discrimination between local and international consultants.
Ludovica: From a legal perspective the case is interesting because it’s a case of denial of justice. It highlights the inconsistency existing within the EU and within these peace-making institutions like NATO and the EU military forces, when they are not even able to find a solution for their internal staff in order to get access to justice and equal treatment.
Neha: It’s not even that they can’t find the solution, they simply don’t care about the issue at all. That says a lot about the culture of the organizations. Maybe one reason why they don’t want to deal with this case is that if they recognized that there is unjustified differential treatment between international and local consultants that needs to be equalized, that would have economic consequences for their operations in a lot of different countries.

6. Conclusion

The CSR and NATO’s regulatory framework are applicable to EUFOR, however, EUFOR is a European institution; it follows that the case at stake should be treated in accordance with EU regulations and directives. More consistency and coherence is needed between the procedure in place to deal with complaints and the actual reality of how the complaints are dealt with.

There should be no state of uncertainty for international civil servants. Furthermore, it is crucial to face international challenges linked to civil-military cooperation. International organizations can be a powerful instrument of inclusion and development, mirroring the plethora of experience of their employees and the constant safeguard of social and labor rights. It is crucial to set decent working conditions, ensuring a balance between the rights and interests of employees and employers.

Working for these organizations cannot and should not become a disadvantage.


Complaints within International Organizations Who is Competent to Decide - Modulaw Case -
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[1] Judgement, August 30, 1924, The Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions, Greece v. Britain [2] Article 2, paragraph 3, Charter of the United Nations. [3] Article 2, paragraph i) of the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations: “‘international organization’ means an intergovernmental organization.” [4] [5] Rivista Semestrale di Diritto – ISSN 2724-2862 [6] “International organisations, being established by the common will of states, are granted immunity in order to ensure they can carry out their mission independently. In this context, certain individuals appointed to work for these organisations in an official capacity may be granted a special status.” [7] Best Practices in Resolving Employment Disputes in International Organizations Conference Proceedings, ILO Geneva, 15-16 September 2014; Edited by Annika Talvik ILO Geneva, 15-16 September 2014; Edited by Annika Talvik [8] “The International Labour Organization is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social justice and internationally recognized human rights, namely labour rights in all their aspects.” [9] [10] [11] The Practice and Patterns of EU Military Operations in Concert with the United Nations; Csaba Toro; Journal of Conflict and Security Law Advance Access published July 29, 2015 [12] The Case of Eufor Operation Althea: Ünsal SIĞRI, Giuseppe CAFORIO, Ufuk BAŞAR Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey, Italian Interuniversity Centre of Historical and Military Studies, Milano, Italy, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey [13] “The Berlin Plus agreement, which allows the European Union to have accesso to NATO's planning and command structures for crisis management missions. The Berlin Plus agreement has been successfully implemented in Macedonia and Bosnia, where the EU took the leadership of NATO missions, still relying on the command structure of the Alliance.” [14] “I rapporti tra Unione Europea, Organizzazioni Internazionali ed altre forme di cooperazione organizzata: dinamiche di influenza nella governance globale”- Tesi di Dottorato, Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza – Dott. Luigimaria Riccardi – from page 250. [15] If a staff member wants to file a complaint against the application of this regulation, he/she has to lodge a complaint to his/her immediate supervisor. If the complaint is against his/her supervisor, the case is immediately turned to the next higher level. The supervisors who receive a complaint have to evaluate the responses with the CHRM. If the staff member isn’t satisfied, he/she can file the complaint up to the Commander, the Commander will personally listen to the staff member and make a decision, the final decision.” Ref 2540/2/OJS 23 March 2012 [16] “Denial of justice is traditionally defined as any gross miscarriage of justice by domestic courts resulting from the ill-functioning of the State’s judicial system. It may thus arise, broadly speaking, out of acts of the judiciary as well as of acts of the executive and the legislature affecting the administration of justice. A duty of States to ensure a proper administration of justice towards foreigners, whether in criminal, civil, or administrative cases, falls within the more general duty of protection of the person and property of foreigners laid down in.” Oxford Public International Law [17] “Review of the Civilian Staff Rules for crisis response operation (CRO) headquarters in the Balkans (Balkans CSR) [18] The European Ombudsman is an EU institution set up to investigate complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union. It is entitled to receive and investigate complaints from EU citizens, businesses and organisations, and from anyone residing or having their registered office in an EU country. Emily O’Reilly was elected by the European Parliament as European Ombudsman in July 2013 and officially started in October 2013. The Ombudsman may find maladministration if an institution fails to respect fundamental rights, legal rules or principles, or the principles of good administration. This covers administrative irregularities, unfairness, discrimination, abuse of power, failure to reply, refusal of information, and unnecessary delay, for example. Any citizen or resident of the EU, or business, association, or other body with a registered office in the EU, can lodge a complaint. [19];LE MISSIONI PESD Operazioni, strutture, capacità [20] With the support of Alessandro Rosa, Legal Consultant from Modulaw.


  • “Best practices in resolving employment disputes in international organizations”- ILO;

  • “The Elgar Companion to the Hague Conference on Private International Law”- Thomas John, Rishi Gulati, Ben Koehler, 2020;

  • “The Evolving EU, NATO and Turkey Relationship: Implications for Transatlantic Security”- V. S. Ülgen, in EDAM Discussion Paper Series, 2008, No. 2.; H. Kramer, Turkish Accession Process to the EU: the Agenda Behind the Agenda, SWP Comments, 25 October 2009, available at;

  • “Le missioni militari: la forza di reazione rapida, i rapporti con la NATO e la partecipazione di Stati terzi alle operazioni dell’Unione” -V.C.Novi cit., pp. 231-232.

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