12.12.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Central Staff Committee Warns That EPO President Illegally Changes the Rules to Remove the Rights of the Accused, Crush Dissent/Unions

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Main court in Warsaw
Main court in Warsaw, photo by Michal Zacharzewski

Summary: The Rule of Law is no longer applicable in Eponia, where people can be dismissed or suspended based on mere allegations

THE EPO‘s attempts to silence Techrights have made it the de facto publication for almost everything deep inside Eponia (the stuff not announced to the outside world). We often get material from several sources simultaneously these days.

“I’m sure you’ll get several copies of this one, but just to make sure,” said one source, here it is.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité central du Personnel

11.12.2015
sc15452cp – 0.2.1/4.5/0.3.2

Amendment of the Service Regulations on suspension

Suspension of staff members is increasingly en vogue at the EPO. After staff representatives serving on the internal Appeals Committee and a member of the Boards of Appeal, the President of the Office decided to suspend on 18 November 2015 three elected staff representatives, also SUEPO executives. Not to mention “normal” employees suspended in less conspicuous investigative and disciplinary procedures.

“Suspension of staff members is increasingly en vogue at the EPO.”The President put on the agenda of the GCC meeting scheduled on 09 December a proposal to delete a protecting clause from Article 95 ServRegs, just in time before the Administrative Council (AC) of 16/17 December 2015.

Pursuant to Article 95 ServRegs, the appointing authority may decide to suspend an employee if an alleged misconduct is so serious that it becomes incompatible with his/her continuing in service, for instance if continuation of service would be against the interests of the Office, would endanger the investigation process or even other employees. Suspension is not a disciplinary sanction: it is essentially an interim measure until the appointing authority decides on a disciplinary sanction following the completion of a statutory disciplinary procedure.

“The President put on the agenda of the GCC meeting scheduled on 09 December a proposal to delete a protecting clause from Article 95 ServRegs, just in time before the Administrative Council (AC) of 16/17 December 2015.”The appointing authority may also decide to withhold part of the remuneration, up to half of the employee’s basic salary. A salary reduction is warranted when the foreseeable disciplinary measure would have a financial effect, i.e. only in case of relegation in step, downgrading or dismissal1. Presently, the Service Regulations include a single provision protecting employees against excessively slow investigation and disciplinary procedures: if no final decision is given within four months from the date of suspension, the employee shall again receive his/her full remuneration2. Furthermore, in that case, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of the amount of remuneration withheld3.

Similar provisions are included in the Service Regulations of other International Organisations, either in the form of a fixed duration for a suspension (e.g. non-extendable six months in the EU regulations), or in a more flexible form, with an advance written statement setting out and justifying its duration (UN and WHO). However, after the abolition of Article 95(3) ServRegs the EPO would be the only international organisation that would have nothing in place. While any extension of
_____
1 Article 93 ServRegs
2 old Article 95(3) ServRegs, to be deleted soon
3 old Article 95(4) ServRegs, to be amended soon


any time limit over the presently four months would still be objectionable because it is not in the interest of staff, the abolition thereof is unacceptable because it is illegal: Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time (emphasis added).

The amended Article will have immediate effect on all suspensions ongoing on the date of its entry into force. The Administrative Council, assisted by the Office, has “house-banned” and suspended the member of the Boards of Appeal in December 2014, and is now being confronted with a decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) not proposing his removal from office, as would be required by Article 23(1) EPC. The AC has asked once more the EBoA to propose removal from office and it is now tempted to buy time. Prolonging the suspension on a reduced salary is the President’s selling argument for the AC to approve the amendment. However, the Council would be ill-advised to lose credit by approving such a drastic proposal.

“…the abolition thereof is unacceptable because it is illegal: Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time (emphasis added).”A “collateral” but possibly not completely undesired effect is that suspension of any EPO employee on a reduced salary may go on for an unlimited period of time, without justification and against ILO-AT case law4, with no incentive for the President or the AC to investigate speedily the alleged misconduct and decide in a reasonable time5. This de facto negates the interim character of a suspension and turns a salary reduction into a financial sanction. Such disproportionate decisions may in principle be challenged with the Administrative Tribunal but the review is limited due to their discretionary nature, and a judgment will be long to come.

Factually, suspension will become an additional punishment. Thus the present proposal of the President is neither in line with the Service Regulations nor with ILO-AT case law. It is a violation of the EPC, for much the same reason. It is also a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, the AC should dismiss the proposal.

“Thus the present proposal of the President is neither in line with the Service Regulations nor with ILO-AT case law. It is a violation of the EPC, for much the same reason.”It should be noted that any damaging effect on any EPO employee this change of Article 95 ServRegs may in turn lead to court cases against Contracting States before the European Court of Human Rights. Therefore, this amendment will bring into disrepute the Organisation, the Office, as well as the respective Contracting States if they were to be convicted.

Finally, it is remarkable that President Battistelli comes with such a proposal for tougher punishment tools in what looks like a “suspension policy” against staff, although the AC gave him in March 2015 the clear mandate to engage into “social dialogue” with staff.

The Central Staff Committee
_____
4 see for instance Judgment No.2698
5 see for instance Judgment No.2698

This document is quite self explanatory and is written in plain (not legal) language/terms, so there is little that we can or need to add to it.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  2. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  3. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  4. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  5. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  7. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  8. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  10. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  11. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  12. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  13. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  14. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  15. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  18. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  19. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  20. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  21. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  22. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  23. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  24. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  25. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  26. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  27. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  28. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  29. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts