Rules and Regulations

President and Alternate President of the Appeals Committee

  • The Appeals Committee shall have a President and Alternate President from among its members for a term of one year, following the principle of alphabetical rotation, to direct the work of the Committee, its panels and its Registrar. He/she shall preside over meetings of the Appeals Committee Panels.

  • The Alternate President, also appointed by alphabetical order, shall assume all the responsibilities of the President whenever the President is absent or unable to exercise his/ her responsibilities.

Procedure for the Selection and Appointment of Members of the Appeals Committee

The Board of Governors shall appoint the members of the Appeals Committee. The Secretariat shall invite suitable candidates from Member Countries and the OPEC host country to apply for a vacancy in the Appeals Committee through a notice on the Organization’s website. At the end of the application period, the Secretariat shall compile a list of applicants and present it to the Board of Governors for consideration and appointment.

Qualification of Members of the Appeals Committee

To be eligible for appointment as a member of the Appeals Committee, an applicant shall:

  • Possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or an international lawyer or arbitrator in relevant fields, such as international law, international administrative law, international employment law, and/or international organizations law;

  • Have an advanced degree in law and be licensed in at least one jurisdiction;

  • Have a minimum of 15 years post-qualified experience (PQE) with at least 10 years of relevant professional experience in the subject matter in private sector, government, academia or judiciary positions;

  • Not be a current or former OPEC staff member, consult- ant, Secretary-General, Head of Delegations, member of the Board of Governors or Alternate, or ECB National Representative;

  • Not be a relative (within the fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, including spouse) of an OPEC employee or member of OPEC governing bodies nor its technical organs;

  • Have recognized professional competence and integrity;

  • Be fluent in English, both orally and in writing.

Term of office of Members of the Appeals Committee

  • Members of the Appeals Committee shall be appointed for one term of five years without the possibility of further extension.

  • A Member of the Appeals Committee shall not be eligible for any appointment within OPEC for the next five years following his/her term of office.

  • A Member of the Appeals Committee shall serve in his/her personal capacity and enjoy full independence.

  • A Member of the Appeals Committee Panel who has a conflict of interest shall recuse himself/herself from the case. If the Appellant or the Secretariat request such recusal, the decision on the recusal shall be taken by the President of the Appeals Committee. The President’s decision on the matter shall be final. If the President of the Appeals Committee is recused, the decision on the recusal shall be made by the Alternate President.

  • A Member of the Appeals Committee may only be removed by the Board of Governors in case of misconduct or incapacity.

  • A Member of the Appeals Committee may resign by notifying the Board of Governors through the Secretary General. The resignation shall take effect from the date of notification un- less the notice of resignation specifies a later date.

  • The Members of the Appeals Committee shall enjoy immunities and privileges with respect to acts performed by them in their functions as stipulated in the Headquarters Agreement between OPEC and the Federal Republic of Austria and Article 6A of the OPEC Statute.

Administrative arrangements and administration of the Appeals Committee

  • The Secretary General shall make the administrative arrangements required for the running of the Appeals Committee.

  • The expenses of the Appeals Committee shall be borne by the Secretariat.

Appeals Procedure

Purpose and Objectives of the Rules and Procedures

The objective of these rules and procedures is to provide current and former Staff Members the right to a fair and impartial reconsideration of his/her complaint, following the procedures specified in this Annex.

Legal Basis for the Appeal

The Appeals Committee shall at all times make its decisions:

  • On the basis of and in conformity with the internal regulations of OPEC; and

  • In line with the generally recognized principles of Inter- national Administrative Law. However, any application by the Appeals Committee of such generally recognized principles of International Administrative Law shall not be in conflict with the Statute, OPEC Headquarters Agreement or other regulations as issued by OPEC.

As basis for the Appeals Committee decisions, the internal regulations of OPEC are to be determined by reference to the following sources, in order of precedence:

  • The Statute of OPEC;

  • The Headquarters Agreement;

  • The decisions of the Conference and of the Board of Governors relating to staff and employment matters;

  • The OPEC Staff Regulations, other internal regulations and Code of Ethics;

  • OPEC’s Administrative Instructions and Directives, to the extent that such documents are not inconsistent with the foregoing sources.

Nature of Appeals

Appeals may be submitted in regard to:

  • The application to a current or former Staff Member of any instruction, action or decision that is alleged not to be in compliance with the Staff Member’s contract of employment, terms of employment, or with the OPEC Staff Regulations as applicable to the Staff Member;

  • The outcome of an annual performance evaluation report in relation to the performance of the Staff Member in a specific year;

  • A decision taken by the Secretary General that affects the current or former Staff Member, or a sanction imposed by the Secretary General following the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings against the current or former Staff Member;

  • Any other grievance allegedly suffered by a current or former Staff Member in connection with his/her employment at OPEC, caused by the Organization.

Procedures Applicable for the Appeal

Any current or former Staff Member who wishes to appeal against a decision taken by the Secretary General shall, in line with the provision of Article 13.4 b) I., file a written Statement of Appeal to the Appeals Committee through its Registrar. The submission shall be addressed to the Registrar and delivered at the Headquarters of the Organization.

In computing the period for filing an appeal, any absence of the concerned Staff Member on any type of official duty or leave shall not be taken into account.

The Statement of Appeal submitted by the current or former Staff Member must:

  • Describe the disputed matter or the nature of the appeal;

  • State the conflict resolution procedures that have been exhausted in relation to the disputed matter;

  • Provide all relevant facts and evidence available;

  • Explain the basis upon which it is believed that the disputed matter or decision was inconsistent with the terms of employment and/or the Rules and Regulations of OPEC;

  • List and attach supporting documents and identify any other documents the Appellant requests to be considered in the appeal process;

  • List persons who the Appellant suggests to be called as witnesses in the appeal process;

  • Describe the relief the Appellant is requesting;

  • State an electronic address (email) for notifications, and;

  • Sign the Statement of Appeal.

Upon receipt of the Statement of Appeal, the Registrar shall ascertain that the prior steps referred in Article 13.1 b) and Article 13.4 of the OPEC Staff Regulations have been com- plied with. If such prior steps have not been completed, the Registrar shall return the Statement of Appeal to the Appellant, who may comply with the requirements of the said Articles within the periods established in the Staff Regulations.

The Registrar shall also verify that the Statement of Appeal includes all information required in the preceding paragraph b) above. In case of need, the Registrar shall request the Appellant to complete the information required and submit it again no later than 10 days after such notification.

In case the Registrar of the Appeals Committee determines that the prior steps have been complied with and all information needed is included in the appeal, he/she shall transmit the Statement of Appeal to the President of the Appeals Committee and to the Secretary General, within ten (10) calendar days after its receipt.

The President of the Appeals Committee shall, on a rotational basis, select not more than two other members to form a Panel together with the President to decide on the case submitted to the Appeals Committee. Such Panel of the Appeals Commit- tee shall not include a member from the same nationality as the appellant, or from any Staff Member related to the facts of the case, if applicable, at the discretion of the President.

The President shall give due consideration, whenever possible, to the equal distribution of work between the Appeals Committee members.

When the Appeals Committee Panel considers an appeal, it shall also receive a formal statement from the Secretary General, which shall be submitted within 30 calendar days from the transmission referred to in paragraph 4.d) of this Section. The Secretary General’s omission to present such a formal statement in time shall not hinder the Appeals Committee Panel from continuing its proceedings and issue a decision.

The filing of an appeal shall not have the effect of suspending the decision that is the subject matter of the appeal. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Appeals Committee Panel may grant injunctive relief to avoid irreparable harm to the Appellant.

The Appeals Committee Panel shall – upon request by either one of the parties to the proceedings – hear the Staff Member or the person presenting the case on his/her behalf. The hearing may take place virtually or at the Headquarters of the Organization. The Appeals Committee Panel shall call both parties to present their arguments. It shall have the authority, if it decides so, to call upon any individual who may provide information relevant to the issue before it, by its initiative or at the request of any of the parties. The hearing proceedings shall be recorded.

A quorum of two members of the Appeals Committee Panel is required for the hearing to take place.

The Appeals Committee Panel shall, by majority vote, adopt and issue a decision to be notified in writing to the Secretary General and the appellant no later than 90 calendar days after the Appeals Committee Panel for the case was formed, in line with Article 4.e) of this Section. The decision shall state the reasons on which it is based on. The deliberations may be made through electronic channels and/or correspondence.

A dissenting member of the Appeals Committee Panel may, if he/she so requests, have his/her opinion recorded in the report.

The Appeals Committee Panel shall modify or revoke any decision against which there has been an appeal if it is contrary to the OPEC Staff Regulations or other rules, to the Appellant’s terms of employment or other applicable instruments.

If the appeal is accepted, the Appeals Committee Panel may grant the financial entitlements applicable and/or other applicable remedy, as established in the OPEC Staff Regulations and the terms of employment of the Appellant;

The decision of the Appeals Committee Panel shall be final and binding upon the parties.

Registrar-Facilities-Official Seat

The Secretary General shall appoint a Registrar for the Appeals Committee who shall have a degree in law and be licensed in at least one jurisdiction. The Registrar of the Appeals Committee shall be responsible for administrative and communication matters of the appeal, and in assisting the Appeals Committee and its Panel(s) in procedural legal issues. If unable to act, the Secretary General shall appoint an alternate Registrar.

In the discharge of his/her duties as the Registrar of the Appeals Committee, the Registrar shall be subject, only to the authority of the President of the Appeals Committee.

The Registrar of the Appeals Committee shall be responsible for preparing, keeping, safekeeping and retaining a file for each appeal submitted to the Appeals Committee, in line with the provisions of the OPEC Staff Regulations and Document Retention Policy.

The Secretariat shall provide necessary facilities and resources to ensure the proper and independent functioning of the appeals process.

Confidentiality Requirements

All files shall be kept confidential and only the following per- sons may have access to them:

  • The Board of Governors;

  • Appeals Committee;

  • The Secretary General;

  • The Internal Auditor;

  • The General Legal Counsel;

  • The Registrar of the Appeals Committee; and

  • The Appellant, only up to the time the Appeals Committee takes a decision in accordance with this Annex.

Any information not already in the public domain, made available by any party or by OPEC or its Staff Members to the Appeals Committee by virtue of the performance of its functions, shall be treated as being strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third party. The obligations of confidentiality under this Section shall survive the termination of membership of any Member of the Appeals Committee.