As already said, Judgment 4430 is fundamental, and the considerations can be extended to all International Organisations. The present paper will deal only with details of this case.
Below are some of its more relevant considerations; the following does not want to be a legal analysis of the judgement, but only an explanatory overview of it:
Consideration 13: “… a strike … is a tool employees have to redress imbalance of power…”; “… absent a right to strike, it is open to an employer to ignore entreaties by employees advanced collectively to consider….their grievances….”
Nota: this could put in jeopardy the validity of the regulations introduced from July 2013 till today at the EPO. More in general it could put in jeopardy the validity of regulations passed while fundamental rights of staff are not respected.
Considerations 14 and 15: “… a general decision cannot be challenged … until an individual decision is taken…”, however since Circular 347 had an immediate and adverse effect on individual rights (the right to strike) from its promulgation, the general decision can be challenged in this case.
Nota: this is interesting because it confirms that a complainant can directly challenge a general decision when the general decision has an immediate and adverse effect on the complainant.
Consideration 16 (Lawfulness of Circular 347):
The circular travels beyond the definition of strike in the Service Regulations; “…it cannot do so as a subordinate normative legal document…”
“ …“go slow” and “work to rule” are legitimate forms of industrial action protected by the ordinary conception of the right to strike ….”
The imposition of a minimum of 10% of employees who can call for a strike is illegal, because it amounts to deprive a group of less than 10% willing to strike of the right to strike.
The condition that “at least 40% of the employees entitled to vote shall participate to the ballot” is unlawful, because it allows a majority of staff to deprive a minority of the right to strike.
“…the requirement that the vote be conducted by the Office violated the right to strike. Employees themselves should be able to make arrangements for the vote…”
“the time limit placed on the duration of strike violated the right to strike. Striking staff should be able, themselves, to determine the length of the strike.”
“Having regard to the aforementioned violations of the right to strike, which infect Circular 347 in its entirety, the Circular is unlawful and should be set aside”.
The Tribunal in Judgment 4430 only deliberates on the lawfulness of Circular 347 and does not discuss the legality of the Service Regulations, because it feels unsure, in its present composition, “whether it has jurisdiction to set aside a provision of the Service Regulations” (cf. consideration 11 of Judgment 4430). It is however abundantly clear that the provisions of the Service Regulations, like for example paragraph (10) of Article 30a, are unlawful and inapplicable.