Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 
​Which is the time-limit for filing my complaint?
 

Five different scenarios must be distinguished:
 
A-    If you have exhausted the internal procedures, you must file your complaint within ninety days after the date on which you were notified of the final decision of the Secretary General that is being contested. If you are located away from the headquarters of the General Secretariat, the period for presentation of the complaint will be one hundred and twenty days.

B-    If the Secretary General fails to make a final decision within thirty days following the date on which she/he is supposed to according the procedures in the General Standards or in other existing provisions, and nothing remains to be done but the taking of that final decision, the interested party may have recourse to the Tribunal and his complaint will be admissible as if such a decision had been taken.
 
The periods of ninety or one hundred and twenty days provided for in the preceding paragraph will begin upon the expiration of the period of thirty days within which the Secretary General should have taken a final decision (see above).
 
C-    If during the Reconsideration phase stipulated in the Staff Rules, the Secretary General fails to comply with the regulatory periods stipulated for setting up a Joint Advisory Committee on Reconsideration, or if said Committee was set up, but it did not make its recommendations in time, you can file your complaint before the Tribunal within 30 days following the date on which the omission or delay of the Secretary General occurred.
 
D-    If you have not exhausted the internal procedures, but have agreed with the Secretary General that your case should be presented to the Tribunal, you must present your complaint within ninety days following the date on which the Secretary General informs you of her/his agreement that the case be submitted directly to the Tribunal. For employees located away from the headquarters of the General Secretariat, the period for presentation of the compliant will be one hundred and twenty days.
 
E-    If you are a successor to the staff member's right upon her/his death or the legal representative of a staff member who is legally incapacitated from managing her/his own affairs, the time limits specified above shall be extended to one year.
 
(Article VI of the Tribunal's Statute and Article 33 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure)


 
​May I request an extension to the specified time-limits?
 

I n exceptional cases the Tribunal may admit a petition even if it is presented after the time-limit period provided above.

(Article VI of the Tribunal's Statute)



 
In what languages may I file a complaint?
 

​Complaints may be written in any of the four official languages of the OAS: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

(Article  26 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure)



 
​Are there any requirements regarding the content of the complaint?
 

​Yes. A complaint must comply with article 26 of the Rules of Procedure of the Tribunal. It must contain: information on the personal and official status of the complaint; authority against whom the complaint is brought; brief statement of the facts; grounds on which the complaint is based; evidence; and specific petitions. The original text of every written motion presented must contain the signature of the party or of her/his attorney.

(Articles 26 and 27 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure)



 
​How many copies do I have to attach to my complaint?
 

​The complaint must be presented to the Secretary of the Tribunal together with a print copy and an electronic copy. This rule also applies to every written motion presented during the procedure.

(Article 28 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure)



 
​Do I have to be represented by a counsel?
 

​The parties may act for themselves or through a representative especially designated in a document delivered to the Secretary of the Tribunal.

(Article 42 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure)



 
A​fter filing my complaint, what is next?
 

​Once the complaint has been received, the Secretary of the Tribunal, within five days at the most, will send a copy of the complaint to the other party (Article 30 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure).

The complaint shall be answered within thirty days following the date of its notification to the party. Once the answer is received, the Secretary of the Tribunal, within five days, will transmit a copy of that answer to the complainant, who may file a replication thereto within fifteen days following the date the answer is received by him/her. Once the replication has been received, the Secretary, within five days, will transmit a copy of it to the other party, who may make a rejoinder to the replication within fifteen days following the date of receipt thereof by him/her (Article 34 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure).

When the President of the Tribunal considers the documentation to be sufficient, s/he will instruct the Secretary of the Tribunal to place the case on the list of cases pending consideration by the Tribunal. The Secretary of the Tribunal will notify the parties the opening date of the session during which the Tribunal will consider the case (Article 35 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure).

The Tribunal shall decide whether it is appropriate or necessary to hear witnesses or experts, or to celebrate an oral debate (Article 38 and 39 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure).