Administrative Tribunal

Tribunal Administrativo

Frequently asked questions

The information shared in this webpage is intended to provide general information to help readers answering some basic questions about how the Administrative Tribunal of the IDB Group functions.

This information is not equivalent to legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any specific questions concerning legal rights should be consulted with an attorney.

In case of discrepancies, the Statute and the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal of the IDB Group, including future amendments, should prevail over this webpage.

1. What does the Administrative Tribunal do?

The Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) of the IDB Group, hears complaints by which staff members, consultants and retirees allege non-observance of his/her contract of employment or terms and conditions of appointment; it also hears any person who is entitled to present a claim upon a right of a current, former, or retired staff member or consultant. The complainant needs to have exhausted all other remedies required within the formal system for the resolution of grievances of the Inter-American Development Bank (the “IDB”) or IDB Invest, as applicable, within the appropriate time periods (Article II(1) of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal).

As of November 2017, IDB Invest is the commercial name of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (“IIC”).

 

2. Why was the Administrative Tribunal created?

The IDB and IDB Invest, like many international organizations, enjoy immunity from jurisdiction of the courts of their member countries. For this reason, the Administrative Tribunal was established to adjudicate disputes which arise out of the employment relationship of the IDB Group with its employees.

3. When was the Administrative Tribunal created?

The Administrative Tribunal was established by the Board of Executive Directors of the IDB on April 29, 1981. The IIC became subject to the Administrative Tribunal’s jurisdiction on November 19, 1991 by resolution of its Board of Executive Directors. As of November 2017, IDB Invest is the commercial name of the IIC.

 

 

4. How many cases has the Administrative Tribunal issued since its creation?

The Administrative Tribunal has issued 110 decisions since its creation through December 31, 2019.

5. How is the Administrative Tribunal structured?

The Tribunal is composed of seven judges, who are independent from the IDB Group; they are appointed by the Board of Directors. The judges must be nationals of member countries. No two of them can be nationals of the same country. The judges are appointed for one non-renewable term of six years. In addition, an Executive Secretary to the Tribunal is appointed by the Board of Executive Directors and is responsible for assisting the Tribunal in discharging its functions (Article V(1) of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal).

6. How are the Judges selected?

Judges are appointed by the Board of Executive Directors of the IDB from a list of candidates presented to it by a Nominating Committee for the Administrative Tribunal, and they are appointed for one non-renewable term of six years (Article III of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal).

7. How are the President and Vice President of the Administrative Tribunal selected?

In May of each year, the Tribunal shall elect a President and a Vice President, who will respectively hold office from 1 July of that year until 30 June of the following year, unless in the meantime either should cease to be a Member of the Tribunal. The President and the Vice President may be re-elected (Article 4(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

8. What are the responsibilities of the President of the Administrative Tribunal?

The President represents the Administrative Tribunal in all institutional matters and presides over its meetings. When the Administrative Tribunal is not in session, the President of the Tribunal or the presiding member of a panel will decide all issues that may arise in processing a case (Article 4(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

9. What is a panel?

The President of the Administrative Tribunal may appoint a panel of three members to hear and decide a case. At the same time, the President of the Administrative Tribunal will designate the member who will preside over the panel (Article 19(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

10. How is the Executive Secretary of the Administrative Tribunal selected?

An Executive Secretary to the Administrative Tribunal is appointed by the Board of Executive Directors from a list of candidates presented to it by a Nominating Committee. The Executive Secretary may not be selected from current or former employees of the IDB Group  (Article V of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal).

11. What are the functions of the Executive Secretary of the Administrative Tribunal?

The Executive Secretary of the Administrative Tribunal is responsible for assisting the Administrative Tribunal in discharging its functions.

12. Who can file a complaint with the Administrative Tribunal of the IDB Group?

A complaint can be filed by any IDB Group employee, including consultants and retirees, and also by any person who is entitled to present a claim upon a right of a current, former, or retired staff member or consultant (Article II(1) of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal).

 

13. Can employees who were employed by the IDB Group only for a short period file a complaint with the Tribunal?

Yes. An employee can file an application with the Administrative Tribunal alleging breach of his or her contract of employment or terms of appointment, regardless the length of his or her contract.

14. Must complainants be represented by an attorney?

No. Complainants may be represented by an attorney, but it is not required. 

15. Is there any procedure required before a complaint can be filed with the Tribunal?

In accordance with Article II of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal, prior to submitting a complaint to the Administrative Tribunal, the complainant must first exhaust all available internal remedies in a timely manner. This means that a Certificate of Conclusion of the Mediation, a Final Decision of the Vice President for Finance and Administration (following an investigation by the Office of Ethics) or a Final Decision of the Administration Subcommittee (Pension), as applicable, must be attached to the submitted complaint.

16. When is a complaint deemed admissible to be heard by the Tribunal?

Complaints are deemed admissible to be heard only in the following cases (Article II(2) of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal):

a) When the application is filed with the Tribunal within 120 calendar days of the date of exhaustion of all other remedies required within the formal system for the resolution of employee grievances, as provided by the policies of the IDB or IDB Invest (as applicable), including that such remedies must be exercised within their respective time periods.

b) When the application concerns policies interpreted by the Administration Subcommittee (Pension), the application is admissible only if it is filed with the Tribunal within 120 calendar days following the date on which the notice of a Final Decision of the Administration Subcommittee was provided to the Applicant.

c) When the application contests a decision of the Administration of the IDB or IDB Invest imposing a disciplinary sanction as contemplated in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of the IDB and in its Procedures, or in the relevant ethics and disciplinary codes or policies of IDB Invest, and the application is presented to the Tribunal within 120 calendar days from notice of such decision to the complainant.

 

17. How can I file a complaint?

The complaint with its annexes shall be filed electronically, including by e-mail, with the office of the Tribunal's Executive Secretariat (tribunal@iadb.org) or, if this is not practicable, by mail to the office located at the Bank's headquarters. If the complainant lives in a place other than Washington, D.C., the complaint may be filed, with its annexes, at the nearest Bank office, by registered mail or by courier. In these cases, the date shown on the note acknowledging receipt by the Bank's office, the postmark date or the receipt date of the courier shall be the date of filing. 

18. In what languages may a complaint be filed?

The working languages of the Administrative Tribunal are Spanish and English. However, a complainant can request that the proceedings be conducted in one of the other official languages (French or Portuguese) of the IDB Group (Article 34(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

19. Is there a time-limit to file a complaint?

Yes. Article II of the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal requires complaints to be filed within 120 days after the following:

  • The employee receives a Certificate of Conclusion of the Mediation.
  • The employee receives the Final Decision of the Administration Subcommittee (Pension).
  • The employee receives the Final Decision of the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPF).
20. How often does the Administrative Tribunal meet?

The Administrative Tribunal meets as often as necessary based on the number of applications before it. The Administrative Tribunal holds a minimum of one session per year. In recent years, the Administrative Tribunal has held an average of three sessions per year.

21. What are the possible remedies the Administrative Tribunal can order?

Remedies may include annulment of management decisions, compensation, restoration of salary, benefits and other entitlements, as applicable (Article IX of the Statute).

22. Are the Sessions hold by the Administrative Tribunal public?

Only the sessions to hear oral arguments are public (Article 24 of the Rules of Procedure).

23. Where are the public sessions held?

The Tribunal, as well as its panels, holds sessions at the headquarters of the IDB Group, unless the presiding judge considers that the efficient conduct of the proceedings warrants holding sessions elsewhere (Article 6(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

24. How do the judges make their decisions?

The Administrative Tribunal takes decisions by majority vote of the panel or the Tribunal as constituted for any session. In the event of a tie vote, the President of the Tribunal or the presiding member has the decisive vote (Article 26 of the Rules of Procedure).

25. Are the decisions of the Tribunal published?

Yes. Decisions are public in accordance with the provisions of the IDB Group’s Access to Information Policy and are published on the Administrative Tribunal’s websitewww.iadb.org/tribunal

26. Can a complainant ask for anonymity?

Yes. A complainant who wishes that his or her name not appear in the documents that the Administrative Tribunal publishes may request anonymity at the time when the complaint is filed with the Administrative Tribunal or at any time before the case is listed for decision by the Administrative Tribunal (Article 31(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Tribunal).

27. Can a complainant be reimbursed for costs, such as attorney’s fees and other associated expenses?

Yes. The Administrative Tribunal may award costs, including attorney’s fees, in upheld decision. The award of costs is discretionary and depends on the individual facts of the case. An application for costs must be made to the Administrative Tribunal no later than seven days after the case is listed for decision (Article IX(6) of the Statute).