Rules of The World Bank Administrative Tribunal

as adopted by the Tribunal on September 26, 1980 and amended on 1 January 2002 

(Sub-headings are for ease of reference only, do not form part of the rules, and do not constitute an interpretation thereof.)

Chapter I: Organization

Rule 1: Term of Office of Members
Subject to any contrary decision of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (hereinafter referred to individually as the "Bank" and collectively, together with the International Development Association and the International Finance Corporation, as the "Bank Group"), the term of office of members of the Tribunal shall commence on the first day of October of the year of their appointment by the Executive Directors of the Bank.

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Rule 2: President and Vice- Presidents
  1. The Tribunal shall elect a President and two Vice-Presidents for terms of three years. The President and Vice-Presidents thus elected shall take up their duties immediately. They may be re-elected.
  2. The retiring President and Vice-Presidents shall remain in office until their successors are elected.
  3. If the President should cease to be a member of the Tribunal or should resign the office of President before the expiration of the normal term, the Tribunal shall elect a successor for the unexpired portion of the term. In the case of a vacancy of a Vice-President, the President may arrange for the election of a successor by correspondence.
  4. The elections shall be by majority vote.

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Rule 3: Duties of President
  1. The President shall direct the work of the Tribunal and of its Secretariat. He shall represent the Tribunal in all administrative matters and shall preside at meetings of the Tribunal.
  2. If the President is unable to act, one of the Vice-Presidents designated by the President shall act as President. In the absence of any such designation by the President, the Vice-President designated by the Tribunal shall act as President.
  3. No case shall be heard by the Tribunal except under the chairmanship of the President or one of the Vice-Presidents.

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Rule 4: Executive Secretary and Staff
In addition to an Executive Secretary, the Tribunal shall have other staff placed at its disposal by the President of the Bank. The Executive Secretary, if unable to act, shall be replaced by an official appointed by the President of the Bank.

Chapter II: Sessions

Rule 5: Plenary Sessions
  1. The Tribunal shall hold a plenary session once a year on a date fixed by the President for the purpose of hearing cases, forming panels, electing officers and any other matters affecting the administration or operation of the Tribunal. When, however, there are no cases on the list referred to in Rule 14, paragraph 1, which in the opinion of the President would justify the holding of a session for their consideration, the President may, after consulting the other members of the Tribunal, decide to postpone the plenary session to a later date.
   Special Plenary Sessions
  1. A special plenary session may be convened by the President when, in his or her opinion, the number or urgency of cases requires such a session or it is necessary to deal with a question affecting the operation of the Tribunal.
   Notices of Sessions
  1. Notice of the convening of a plenary session or a special plenary session shall be given to the members of the Tribunal at least thirty days in advance of the date of the opening of such a session.
   Quorum
  1. Five members of the Tribunal shall constitute a quorum for plenary sessions.

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Rule 6: Panels
  1. When the Tribunal decides to form a panel provided for in Article V, paragraph 2 of the Statute, it shall determine the particular case or group of cases for which such panel is formed.
  2. A panel when formed shall include the President or one of the Vice-Presidents, who, as the case may be, shall preside over that panel.
  3. The presiding member of a panel shall exercise all the functions of the President of the Tribunal in relation to cases before that panel, including determining the dates of sessions of the panel.

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CHAPTER III: Proceedings

Rule 7: Applications
  1. Applications instituting proceedings shall be submitted to the Tribunal through the Executive Secretary. Such applications shall be divided into four sections, which shall be entitled respectively:
    1. Information concerning the personal and official status of the applicant;
    2. Pleas;
    3. Explanatory statement; and
    4. Annexes
  1. The information concerning the personal and official status of the applicant shall be presented in the form contained in Annex I of these rules.
   Pleas
  1. The pleas shall indicate all the measures and decisions which the applicant is requesting the Tribunal to order or take. They shall specify:
    1. any preliminary or provisional measures, such as the production of additional documents or the hearing of witnesses, which the applicant is requesting the Tribunal to order before proceeding to consider the merits;
    2. the decisions which the applicant is contesting and whose rescission is requested under Article XII, paragraph 1, of the Statute;
    3. the obligations which the applicant is invoking and the specific performance of which is requested under Article XII, paragraph 1, of the Statute;
    4. the amount of compensation claimed by the applicant in the event that the Tribunal finds that the respondent institution has determined, in accordance with Article XII, paragraph 1, of the Statute, that rescission or specific performance would not be practicable or in the institution's interest;
    5. any other relief which the applicant may request in accordance with the Statute; and
    6. the amount of costs requested by the applicant.
   Explanatory Statement
  1. The explanatory statement shall set out the facts and the legal grounds on which the pleas are based. It shall specify, inter alia, the provisions of the contract of employment or of the terms of appointment the non-observance of which is alleged.
   Annexes
  1. The annexes shall contain the texts of all documents referred to in the first three sections of the application. They shall be presented by the applicant in accordance with the following rules and Annex I, Part II, of these rules:
    1. each document shall be annexed in the original or, failing that, in the form of a copy bearing the words "Certified true copy";
    2. documents shall be accompanied by any necessary translations; and
    3. unless part of the document is irrelevant to the application, each document, regardless of its nature, shall be annexed in its entirety.
   Copies
  1. The applicant shall prepare eight copies of the application in addition to the original. Each copy shall reproduce all sections of the original, including the annexes. However, the Executive Secretary may grant the applicant permission, upon request, to omit the text of an annex of unusual length from a specified number of copies of the application.
   Authentication
  1. The applicant shall sign the last page of the original application. In the event of the applicant's incapacity, the required signature shall be furnished by his or her legal representative. The applicant may instead, by means of a letter transmitted for that purpose to the Executive Secretary, authorize his or her lawyer or the staff member or retired staff member who is representing the applicant to sign in his or her stead.
   Filing
  1. The applicant shall file the duly signed original and the eight copies of the application with the Executive Secretary. Where the President of the respondent institution and the applicant have agreed to submit the application directly to the Tribunal in accordance with the option given to them under Article II, paragraph 2(i), of the Statute, the filing shall take place within ninety days of the date on which the President of the respondent institution notifies the applicant of agreement for direct submission. In all other cases, the filing shall take place within the time limits prescribed by Article II, paragraph 2(ii), of the Statute and by Rule 24.
   Corrections
  1. If the formal requirements of this rule are not fulfilled, the Executive Secretary may call upon the applicant to make the necessary corrections in the application and the copies thereof within a period which the Executive Secretary shall prescribe. He or she shall return the necessary papers to the applicant for this purpose. The Executive Secretary may also, with the approval of the President, make the necessary corrections when the defects in the application do not affect the substance.
   Transmission
  1. After ascertaining that the formal requirements of this rule have been complied with, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the application to the respondent.
   Reservation of Application
  1. If it appears that an application is clearly irreceivable or devoid of all merit, the President may instruct the Executive Secretary to take no further action thereon until the next session of the Tribunal. The Tribunal shall then consider the application and may either adjudge that it be summarily dismissed as clearly irreceivable or devoid of all merit, or order that it should be proceeded with in the ordinary way.

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Rule 8: Preliminary Objections
  1. Any objection by the respondent to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal or to the admissibility of the application, or any other objection for which a decision is sought before any further proceedings on the merits take place, shall be made in writing within twenty-one days of the date of the receipt by the respondent of the application.
  2. The preliminary objection shall set forth the facts and the law upon which the objection is based.
  3. Upon receipt by the Executive Secretary of a preliminary objection, the proceedings on the merits shall be suspended and the President of the Tribunal shall fix the time-limit within which the applicant may present a written answer to the objection.
  4. The President of the Tribunal shall decide whether and to what extent additional pleadings may be required of the parties.
  5. The Tribunal or, when the Tribunal is not in session, the President of the Tribunal may join the preliminary objection to the merits if there appears to be significant overlap of issues or contentions.

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Rule 9: Answer
  1. The respondent's answer shall be submitted to the Tribunal through the Executive Secretary. The answer shall include pleas, an explanatory statement and annexes. The annexes shall contain the complete texts of all documents referred to in the other sections of the answer not annexed to the application. They shall be presented in accordance with the rules established for the application in Rule 7, paragraph 5, and Annex I(II).
   Copies
  1. The respondent shall prepare eight copies of the answer in addition to the original. Each copy shall reproduce all sections of the original, including annexes. However, the Executive Secretary may grant the respondent permission, upon request, to omit the text of an annex of unusual length from a specified number of copies of the answer.
   Authentication
  1. The representative of the respondent shall sign the last page of the original answer.
   Filing
  1. Within sixty days of the date on which the application is transmitted to the respondent by the Executive Secretary, the respondent shall file the duly signed original and the eight copies of the answer with the Executive Secretary.
   Transmission
  1. After ascertaining that the formal requirements of this rule have been complied with, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the answer to the applicant.

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Rule 10: Reply
  1. The applicant may, within forty-five days of the date on which the answer is transmitted to him or her, file with the Executive Secretary a written reply to the answer.
  2. The complete text of any document referred to in the written reply shall be annexed thereto in accordance with the rules established for the application in Rule 7, paragraph 5, and Annex I(II).
  3. The written reply shall be filed in an original and eight copies drawn up in accordance with the rules established for the application in Rule 7, paragraph 6. The original shall be signed in accordance with the rules established for the application in Rule 7, paragraph 7.
  4. After ascertaining that the formal requirements of this rule have been complied with, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the written reply to the respondent.

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Rule 11: Rejoinder
  1. The respondent may, within thirty days of the date on which the reply is transmitted to the respondent, file with the Executive Secretary a written rejoinder.
  2. The complete text of any document referred to in the written rejoinder shall be annexed thereto in accordance with the rules established for the application in Rule 7, paragraph 5, and Annex I(II).
  3. The written rejoinder shall be filed in an original and eight copies drawn up in accordance with the rules established for the answer in Rule 9, paragraph 2. The original rejoinder shall be signed on the last page by the representative of the respondent.
  4. After ascertaining that the formal requirements of this rule have been complied with, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the written rejoinder to the applicant.
  5. Without prejudice to Rule 12, the written proceedings shall be closed after the rejoinder has been filed.

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Rule 12: Additional Statements and Documents
  1. In exceptional cases, the President may, on his or her own initiative, or at the request of either party, call upon the parties to submit additional written statements or additional documents within a period which he or she shall fix. The additional documents shall be furnished in the original or in properly authenticated form. The written statements and additional documents shall be accompanied by eight copies. Any document shall be accompanied by any necessary translations.
  2. Each written statement and additional document shall be communicated by the Executive Secretary, on receipt, to the other parties, unless at the request of one of the parties and with the consent of the other parties, the Tribunal decides otherwise. The personnel files communicated to the Tribunal shall be made available to the applicant by the Executive Secretary in accordance with instructions issued by the Tribunal.
Obtaining Information
  1. In order to complete the documentation of the case prior to its being placed on the list, the President may obtain any necessary information from any party, witnesses or experts. The President may designate a member of the Tribunal or any other disinterested person to take oral statements. Any such statement shall be made under declaration as provided to the parties in accordance with Rule 18, paragraph 2.
Delegation of Functions
  1. The President may in particular cases delegate his or her functions under this rule to one of the Vice-Presidents.

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Rule 13: Provisional Relief
  1. The filing of an application shall not suspend the execution of the decision contested. However, the applicant may submit to the President of the Tribunal a request to suspend the contested decision until the Tribunal renders its judgment in the case.
  2. A request for the suspension of the contested decision shall, unless it is manifestly unfounded, be transmitted to the respondent for its answer within a period of time to be determined by the President of the Tribunal.
  3. The Tribunal or, when the Tribunal is not in session, the President of the Tribunal may grant such a request in a case in which the execution of the decision is shown to be highly likely to result in grave hardship to the applicant that cannot otherwise be redressed.

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Rule 14: Listing of Case for Decision
  1. When the President considers the documentation of a case to be sufficiently complete, he or she shall instruct the Executive Secretary to place the case on the list and to transmit the dossier of such case to the members designated to decide it. The Executive Secretary shall inform the parties as soon as the inclusion of the case in the list is effected. No additional statements or documents may be filed after the case has been included in the list.
  2. As soon as the date of opening of the session or panel at which a case has been entered for deciding has been fixed, the Executive Secretary shall notify the parties of the date.
  3. Any application for the adjournment of a case shall be decided by the President, or, when the Tribunal is in session, by the Tribunal.

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Rule 15: Executive Secretary's Functions
  1. The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for transmitting all documents and making all notifications required in connection with proceedings before the Tribunal.
  2. The Executive Secretary shall make for each case a dossier which shall record all actions taken in connection with the preparation of the case for trial, the dates thereof, and the dates on which any document or notification forming part of the procedure is received in or dispatched from his or her office.

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Rule 16: Presentation of Case
  1. An applicant may present his or her case before the Tribunal in person, in either written or oral proceedings if allowed pursuant to Rule 17, paragraph 1. Subject to Rule 7, paragraph 7, the applicant may designate a staff member or retired staff member of the Bank Group to represent him or her, or may be represented by a lawyer authorized to practice in any country which is a member of the Bank.
  2. The respondent institution shall be represented either by one of its officials or retired officials designated for that purpose or by a lawyer authorized to practice in any country which is a member of the respondent institution.

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Rule 17: Oral Proceedings
  1. Oral proceedings shall be held if the Tribunal members hearing a case so decide or if either party so requests and the Tribunal so agrees. The oral proceedings may include the presentation and examination of witnesses or experts, and each party shall have the right of oral argument and of comment on the evidence given.
  2. In sufficient time before the opening of the oral proceedings each party shall inform the Executive Secretary and, through him or her, the other parties of the names and description of witnesses and experts whom he or she desires to be heard, indicating the points to which the evidence is to refer.
  3. The Tribunal shall decide on any application for the hearing of witnesses or experts and shall determine the sequence of oral proceedings. Where appropriate, the Tribunal may decide that witnesses shall reply in writing to the questions of the parties. The parties shall, however, retain the right to comment on any such written reply.

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Rule 18: Witnesses and Experts
  1. The Tribunal may examine the witnesses and experts. The parties, their representatives or lawyers may, under the control of the presiding member, put questions to the witnesses and experts.

Rule 19: Production of Documents and Inquiry
The Tribunal may at any stage of the proceedings call for the production of documents or of such other evidence as may be required. It may arrange for any measures of inquiry as may be necessary.

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CHAPTER IV: Remand of a Case

Rule 20: Remand
  1. If, in the course of the deliberations, the Tribunal finds that the case should be remanded in order that the required procedure may be instituted or corrected under Article XII, paragraph 2, of the Statute, it shall notify the parties accordingly.
  2. The Tribunal shall decide on the substance of the case if, on the expiry of the time limit of two working days reckoned from the date of the notification under paragraph 1 above, no request for a remand has been made by the President of the respondent institution.

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CHAPTER V: Intervention

Rule 21: Intervention by Individuals
  1. Any person to whom the Tribunal is open under Article II, paragraph 3, and Article XV of the Statute may apply to intervene in a case at any stage thereof on the ground that he or she has a right which may be affected by the judgment to be given by the Tribunal. Such person shall for that purpose draw up and file an application in the form of Annex II for intervention in accordance with the conditions laid down in this rule.
  2. The rules regarding the preparation and submission of applications specified in Rules 7 through 16 above shall apply mutatis mutandis to the application for intervention.
  3. After ascertaining that the formal requirements of this rule have been complied with, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the application for intervention to the applicant and to the respondent institution. The President shall decide which documents, if any, relating to the proceedings are to be transmitted to the intervenor by the Executive Secretary.
  4. The Tribunal shall rule on the admissibility of every application for intervention submitted under this rule.

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Rule 22: Intervention by Organizations
  1. The President of the Bank, the chief executive officer of an international organization to which the competence of the Tribunal has been extended in accordance with the Statute, or the Chairman of the Pension Benefits Administration Committee of the Bank, may, on giving previous notice to the President of the Tribunal, intervene at any stage, if such person considers that his or her respective administration may be affected by the judgment to be given by the Tribunal.

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Rule 23: Potential Intervenors
  1. When it appears that a person may have an interest in intervening in a case under Rules 21 or 22, the President, or the Tribunal when in session, may instruct the Executive Secretary to transmit to such person a copy of the application submitted in the case.

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CHAPTER VI: Applications Concerning Decisions of the Pension Benefits Administration Committee

Rule 24: Pension Cases
  1. Where an application is brought against a decision of the Pension Benefits Administration Committee of the Bank, the time limits prescribed in Article II of the Statute are reckoned from the date of the communication of the contested decision to the party concerned.

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CHAPTER VII: Miscellaneous Provisions

Rule 25: Persons Furnishing Information
  1. The Tribunal may, for purposes of information, permit persons to whom the Tribunal is open under Article II, paragraph 3, of the Statute, whenever such persons may be expected to furnish information pertinent to the case, to submit written or oral observations as may be appropriate.
Amicus Curiae
  1. The Tribunal may permit any person or entity with a substantial interest in the outcome of a case to participate as a friend-of-the-court. It may also permit the duly authorized representatives of the Staff Association of a respondent institution so to participate. A request so to participate shall be accompanied by a brief and shall be filed not later than the date fixed for the filing of the applicant’s reply under Rule 10(1). If the Tribunal grants the request, the Executive Secretary shall transmit a copy of the accompanying brief to the parties who may comment thereon within thirty days of the date on which the brief is transmitted to them.

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Rule 26: Representative Cases
  1. Either the applicant or the respondent to a case brought before the Tribunal may request that the Tribunal’s judgment in the case be applied to all staff members similarly situated, whether or not such staff members have made application to or intervened in the proceedings before the Tribunal. The request must be made by the applicant not later than the date fixed for the filing of the reply, or by the respondent not later than the date fixed for the filing of the rejoinder.
  2. The President of the Tribunal may grant the request under such conditions as he or she may find appropriate in the circumstances where it is shown that there exists an identifiable group of similarly situated staff who share a common legal or factual position and where such a ruling would best serve judicial efficiency in clarifying the rights or obligations of the specified group.
  3. The Tribunal may determine in its judgment the extent to which its judgment will apply and to whom it may apply within the specified group.

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Rule 27: Consolidation of Cases or Pleadings
  1. Applicants in separate cases, or the respondent, may request the Tribunal to consolidate the cases in question, or any aspect of the pleadings in the cases. In deciding on the request, the Tribunal will consider the extent to which identical issues of law or fact are presented.
  2. The Tribunal may on its own initiative order the consolidation of cases, or aspects of pleadings in separate cases, where it deems that identical issues of law or fact are presented.

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Rule 28: Anonymity
  1. An applicant who wishes that his or her name not be made public may request anonymity at the time when the application instituting proceedings is submitted to the Tribunal and, in any event, no later than by the date of the filing of his or her written reply to the answer.
  2. A request for anonymity shall be transmitted to the respondent for comment within a period of time to be determined by the President of the Tribunal.
  3. The President of the Tribunal may grant a request for anonymity in cases where publication of the applicant’s name is likely to be seriously prejudicial to the applicant.

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Rule 29: Costs
  1. An application for costs should be submitted not later than seven days after the listing of the case.

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Rule 30: Publication of Decisions
  1. The Executive Secretary shall arrange for the publication of the decisions of the Tribunal.

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Rule 31: Modification and Supplementation of Rules
The Tribunal, or, when the Tribunal is not in session, the President after consultation where appropriate with the members of the Tribunal, may:

  1. in exceptional cases modify the application of these rules, including any time limits thereunder;
  2. deal with any matter not expressly provided for in the present rules.

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Rule 32: Entry Into Force
The present rules shall apply to all applications submitted after January 1, 2002 and may apply to applications before that date if both the applicant and the respondent so inform the Tribunal.

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ANNEX I

I. Form of first section of application drawn up in accordance with Rule 7
Information concerning the personal and official status of the applicant:

  1. Name of respondent.
  2. Applicant:
    1. name and first names;
    2. date and place of birth;
    3. marital status;
    4. nationality; and
    5. address for purposes of the proceedings.
  3. Name and address of lawyer or staff member or retired staff member representing the applicant before the Tribunal.
  4. Official status of applicant:
    1. organization of which the applicant was a staff member at the time of the decision contested;
    2. date of employment;
    3. title and level at time of decision contested;
    4. salary of applicant at the time of decision contested;
    5. type of applicant's appointment; and
    6. visa status, if applicable.
  5. If the applicant was not a staff member at the time of the contested decision, state:
    1. the name, first names, nationality and official status of the staff member whose rights are relied on; and
    2. the relation of the applicant to the said staff member which entitles the former to come before the Tribunal.
  6. Date of the occurrence of the event or date of decision giving rise to the application.
  7. Date of receipt of notice (after the applicant has exhausted all other remedies available within the Bank Group) that the relief asked for or recommended will not be granted.
  8. Date of receipt of notice that the relief asked for or recommended will be granted, if such relief shall not have been granted within thirty days after receipt of such notice.
  9. Description of remedies exhausted within the respondent institution.
  10. Applicants who are filing applications after they have been separated from the Bank's employment should indicate all employment, including self-employment, since the date of separation, stating the nature and periods of such employment, the names of all employers and gross payments received in respect of such employment.

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II. Requirements regarding annexes
  1. Each document shall constitute a separate annex and shall be numbered with an Arabic numeral. The word "ANNEX," followed by the number of the document, shall appear at the top of the first page;
  2. The annexed documents shall be preceded by a table of contents indicating the number, title, nature, date and, where appropriate, symbol of each annex;
  3. The words "see annex," followed by the appropriate number, shall appear in parentheses after each reference to an annexed document in the other sections of the application; and
  4. Whenever possible, annexes should be attached in chronological order.

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ANNEX II

Form of first section of application for intervention drawn up in accordance with Article 7

Information concerning the personal and official status of the intervenor:
  1. Case in which intervention is sought.
  2. Intervenor:
    1. name and first names;
    2. date and place of birth;
    3. marital status;
    4. nationality; and
    5. address for purposes of the proceedings.
  3. Name and address of lawyer or staff member or retired staff member representing the intervenor before the Tribunal.
  4. Official status of intervenor:
    1. organization of which the intervenor is a staff member;
    2. date of employment;
    3. title and level;
    4. salary of intervenor at the time of decision contested;
    5. type of intervenor's appointment; and
    6. visa status of intervenor, if applicable.
  5. If the intervenor was not a staff member at the time of the contested decision, state:
    1. the name, first names, nationality and official status of the staff member whose rights are relied on; and
    2. the title under which the intervenor claims he or she is entitled to the rights of the said staff member.
  6. Intervenors who are filing applications after they have been separated from the Bank's employment should indicate all employment, including self-employment, since the date of separation, stating the nature and periods of such employment, the names of all employers and gross payments received in respect of such employment.