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Judgment No. 4476


1. The ICC shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 2,000 euros.
2. It shall also pay him 400 euros in costs.
3. All other claims are dismissed, as is the ICC’s counterclaim.


The complainant, who claims to be entitled to whistleblower status and requests the protection afforded thereby, challenges the failure to respond to his letter reporting what he considers to be unlawful by particular Court officials.

Judgment keywords


complaint allowed; whistle-blower

Consideration 4


These various provisions make plain that, contrary to the complainant’s argument that whistleblower status should be granted to any official who reports any acts provided that she or he has done so in good faith, entitlement to that status is also subject to the condition that the acts reported potentially constitute misconduct as defined above. While it is clearly not for the authority that will take a decision on a request for protection made by an official who presents her- or himself as a whistleblower to determine, at this stage, whether that official’s report of potential misconduct is well founded, it cannot grant such a request if it appears that, by their very nature, the acts in question could not be characterised as misconduct.



Consideration 17


[T]he Tribunal notes that there is no reason to award the compensation which the complainant seeks in respect of the other information contained in the Court’s reply. Contrary to what the complainant contends, the information in question does not exceed the limits of the freedom enjoyed by the parties when drafting their submissions in a legal dispute.


moral injury; reply

Consideration 18


[T]he Tribunal finds that the ICC was negligent in failing to provide an explicit response to the complainant’s request to the President of the Assembly of States Parties on 16 March 2017 until a letter was sent to him on 16 June 2017, three months later.
Such a delay cannot, of course, be regarded as unreasonable in absolute terms in respect of the processing of ordinary administrative requests, and it is important to point out that, contrary to what both parties to the dispute appear to consider, exceeding the 60-day period following the notification of a claim to which Article VII, paragraph 3, of the Statute of the Tribunal refers is not in itself unlawful, but merely gives rise to an implied decision rejecting the claim.
However, the Tribunal considers that a request to be granted whistleblower status is inherently urgent and must be examined with particular speed, regardless of its merits, so that the official concerned can receive the protection afforded thereby as quickly as possible should the request prove warranted, or, at the very least, be informed of the decision taken on the matter.


administrative delay; negligence; whistle-blower

Consideration 22


The ICC contends that the complaint is an abuse of process and therefore invites the Tribunal to “make such orders as it considers appropriate to compensate for the time and resources lost” in dealing with the case. That claim must be regarded as a counterclaim seeking an order for the complainant to pay costs. However, the mere fact that the complaint has been partially upheld prevents it from being regarded as abusive, with the result that the counterclaim cannot, in any event, be granted.



Last updated: 08.06.2022 ^ top