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Flash Report of Appeal Hearing Centeno versus Commission in Court of Justice

Legal Cases
Flash Report of Appeal Hearing Centeno 'v' Commission in Court of Justice

19th June 2008

The Appeal took place in the deuxieme chambre from 09.30 till 11.00, with Judge Timmermans in the chair of a panel of 5 judges and the Advocate General Mrs Sharpston present.

The overall impression of the hearing was positive with pertinent questions being submitted by the Judges and the Advocate General.

The Advocate General will issue an opinion on 4th September at 09:30 in a public audience in the Court. There is no fixed date for the judgement, but it is likely to be some months after the opinion of the Advocate General. The judgment may or may not follow the opinion of the AG, mostly they do but not always.

The Appellants, the Commission and the Council were represented. Each side was given the opportunity to present their case.

Levi highlighted several points including:

- laureates on a reserve list have no right to recruitment, but if recruited then they have an acquired right to be placed at the grade specified in the competition notice

- the date of the entry into force of a general amendment to the staff regulation can be discriminatory in itself unless it is objectively justified

- in the interests of efficiency of the Court, the Appellants presented their original case as a series of individual personal stories. The judgement took no account of individual circumstances and the Appellants should not be penalised for having introduced one case instead of 17. The judgement was therefore too general.

The Commission's response included:

- that being on a laureate list gives no right to recruitment (this has never been contested).

- there has been no unequal treatment, since there were new rules in force as of 1 May 04. The rules change over time and this is not contrary to the rules on equal treatment and therefore there was no age discrimination

- On legitimate expectations, the Commission argued that the appellants points are factual and not part of this appeal.

The Council

- argued being on a list infers no rights

- argued that the appellants should be happy that the Commission decided to extend the duration of the reserve lists, otherwise they wouldn't have been recruited at all

- the notice of competition sets the grade, but if a Regulation changes the framework then the notice of competition is no longer valid

- laureates from same competition are not one group and there is no obligation to treat them in the same way

Questions from the judges included:

- What rights does a person have if their name appears on a reserve list? The Commission responded with a complicated explanation - the result of which was that a person has no rights just a vocation to be nominated as an official

Advocate General:

- asked the Commission how the principle of equal treatment was preserved by recruiting persons from the same list at different grades as nothing distinguishes the people from the same reserve list who were offered a job before 1st May and those after, apart from luck". The Commission's responded that the legislator can change the staff regulations in the interests of the service.

Created by: admin last modification: Friday 11 of July, 2008 [12:42:09 UTC] by admin

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