Statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization

adopted by the International Labour Conference on 9 October 1946 and amended by the Conference on 29 June 1949, 17 June 1986, 19 June 1992, 16 June 1998, 11 June 2008, 7 June 2016, 17 June 2019 and 18 June 2021

Article I

There is established by the present Statute a Tribunal to be known as the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal.

Article II 

1. The Tribunal shall be competent to hear complaints alleging non-observance, in substance or in form, of the terms of appointment of officials of the International Labour Office, and of such provisions of the Staff Regulations as are applicable to the case.

2. The Tribunal shall be competent to settle any dispute concerning the compensation provided for in cases of invalidity, injury or disease incurred by an official in the course of her or his employment and to fix finally the amount of compensation, if any, which is to be paid.

3. [Deleted]

4. The Tribunal shall be competent to hear disputes arising out of contracts to which the International Labour Organization is a party and which provide for the competence of the Tribunal in any case of dispute with regard to their execution.

5. The Tribunal shall also be competent to hear complaints alleging non-observance, in substance or in form, of the terms of appointment of officials and of provisions of the Staff Regulations of any other international organization meeting the standards set out in the Annex hereto which has addressed to the Director-General a declaration recognizing, in accordance with its Constitution or internal administrative rules, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for this purpose, as well as its Rules, and which is approved by the Governing Body. Any such organization may withdraw its declaration recognizing the jurisdiction of the Tribunal under the procedure set out in the Annex.  

6. The Tribunal shall be open:

(a) to the official, even if her or his employment has ceased, and to any person on whom the official’s rights have devolved on her or his death;
(b) to any other person who can show that she or he is entitled to some right under the terms of appointment of a deceased official or under provisions of the Staff Regulations on which the official could rely.

7. Any dispute as to the competence of the Tribunal shall be decided by it.

Article III 

1. The Tribunal shall consist of seven judges who shall all be of different nationalities. The judges shall be persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity and must have been appointed to, or possess the qualifications required for appointment to, the highest judicial office of their countries. They must have an excellent knowledge of at least one of the working languages of the Tribunal and should also have at least a basic written and oral comprehension of the other working language. Due regard shall be given to geographical distribution and gender balance in the composition of the Tribunal. At all times the Tribunal’s composition shall permit the Tribunal to render judgments in both working languages.

2. Subject to paragraph 3 below, the judges shall be appointed for a term of five years, renewable once by the International Labour Conference. If for any reason the International Labour Conference does not meet on the expiry of this term, judges shall remain in office until the Conference holds its next session and has an opportunity to take a decision.

3. If the period of appointment of four or more judges expires in the same year, the International Labour Conference may exceptionally extend the appointment of two of those judges drawn by lots for a period of three years.

4. The judges shall be completely independent in the exercise of their functions and shall not receive any instructions or be subject to any constraint. The judges shall be considered officials of the International Labour Organization other than officials of the International Labour Office under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies.

5. A meeting of the Tribunal shall be composed of three judges or, in exceptional circumstances, five, to be designated by the President, or all seven.

Article IV

The Tribunal shall hold ordinary sessions at dates to be fixed by its Rules, subject to there being cases on its list and to such cases being, in the opinion of the President, of a character to justify holding the session. An extraordinary session may be convened at the request of the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office.

Article V

The Tribunal, at its discretion, may decide or decline to hold oral proceedings, including upon request of a party. The Tribunal shall decide in each case whether the oral proceedings before it or any part of them shall be public or in camera.

Article VI 

1. The Tribunal shall take decisions by a majority vote. Judgments shall be final and without appeal. The Tribunal may nevertheless consider applications for interpretation, execution or review of a judgment.

2. The reasons for a judgment shall be stated. The judgment shall be communicated in writing to the Director-General of the International Labour Office and to the complainant.

3. Judgments shall be drawn up in a single copy, which shall be filed in the archives of the International Labour Office, where it shall be available for consultation by any person concerned.

Article VII 

1. A complaint shall not be receivable unless the decision impugned is a final decision and the person concerned has exhausted such other means of redress as are open to her or him under the applicable Staff Regulations.

2. To be receivable, a complaint must also have been filed within ninety days after the complainant was notified of the decision impugned or, in the case of a decision affecting a class of officials, after the decision was published.

3. Where the Administration fails to take a decision upon any claim of an official within sixty days from the notification of the claim to it, the person concerned may have recourse to the Tribunal and her or his complaint shall be receivable in the same manner as a complaint against a final decision. The period of ninety days provided for by the last preceding paragraph shall run from the expiration of the sixty days allowed for the taking of the decision by the Administration.

4. The filing of a complaint shall not involve suspension of the execution of the decision impugned.

Article VIII

In cases falling under article II, the Tribunal, if satisfied that the complaint was well founded, shall order the rescinding of the decision impugned or the performance of the obligation relied upon. If such rescinding of a decision or execution of an obligation is not possible or advisable, the Tribunal shall award the complainant compensation for the injury caused to her or him.

Article IX 

1. The administrative arrangements necessary for the operation of the Tribunal shall be made by the International Labour Office in consultation with the Tribunal.

2. Expenses occasioned by sessions of the Tribunal shall be borne by the International Labour Office.

3. Any compensation awarded by the Tribunal shall be chargeable to the budget of the International Labour Organization.

Article X 

1. Subject to the provisions of the present Statute, the Tribunal shall draw up its Rules covering:

(a) the election of the President and Vice-President;
(b) the convening and conduct of its sessions;
(c) the rules to be followed in presenting complaints and in the subsequent procedure including intervention in the proceedings before the Tribunal by persons whose rights as officials may be affected by the judgment;
(d) the procedure to be followed with regard to complaints and disputes submitted to the Tribunal by virtue of paragraph 4 of article II;
(e) and, generally, all matters relating to the operation of the Tribunal which are not settled by the present Statute.

2. The Tribunal may amend its Rules.

Article XI

The present Statute may be amended, after consultation with the Tribunal, by the International Labour Conference or such other organ of the International Labour Organization as the Conference may determine.


1. To be entitled to recognize the jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization in accordance with paragraph 5 of article II of its Statute, an international organization must either be intergovernmental in character, or fulfil the following conditions:

(a) it shall be clearly international in character, having regard to its membership, structure and scope of activity;
(b) it shall not be required to apply any national law in its relations with its officials, and shall enjoy immunity from legal process as evidenced by a headquarters agreement concluded with the host country; and
(c) it shall be endowed with functions of a permanent nature at the international level and offer, in the opinion of the Governing Body, sufficient guarantees as to its institutional capacity to carry out such functions as well as guarantees of compliance with the Tribunal’s judgments.

2. The Statute of the Tribunal applies in its entirety to such international organizations subject to the following provisions which, in cases affecting any one of these organizations, are applicable as follows:

Article VI, paragraph 2

The reasons for a judgment shall be stated. The judgment shall be communicated in writing to the Director-General of the International Labour Office, to the executive head of the international organization against which the complaint is filed, and to the complainant.

Article VI, paragraph 3

Judgments shall be drawn up in two copies, of which one shall be filed in the archives of the International Labour Office and the other in the archives of the international organization against which the complaint is filed, where they shall be available for consultation by any person concerned.

Article IX, paragraph 2

Expenses occasioned by the sessions or hearings of the Tribunal shall be borne by the international organization against which the complaint is filed.

Article IX, paragraph 3

Any compensation awarded by the Tribunal shall be chargeable to the budget of the international organization against which the complaint is filed.

3. An international organization may withdraw its declaration recognizing the jurisdiction of the Tribunal in keeping with the principles of good faith and transparency. The organization shall address to the Director-General an official communication notifying the relevant decision which should emanate from the same organ which decided to recognize the Tribunal’s jurisdiction or the organ currently competent to take such a decision, reaffirming its commitment to faithfully execute judgments on any pending cases and indicating, as appropriate, the reasons for withdrawing the recognition of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, the alternative means of employment dispute settlement envisaged and any consultations with the staff representative bodies prior to the withdrawal decision.

4. At its next session following the notification of withdrawal, the Governing Body, after consultation with the Tribunal, shall take note of the withdrawal of the organization concerned, and shall confirm that as of that date, or any other later date as may be agreed upon with the organization concerned, the organization shall no longer be subject to the competence of the Tribunal. No new complaint filed against the organization after the effective date of the withdrawal shall be entertained by the Tribunal.