Appeal brought on 3 December 2019 by the European Parliament against the judgment of the General Court (Fifth Chamber) of 20 September 2019 in Case T-47/18, UZ v Parliament

(Case C-894/19 P)

Language of the case: French

Parties

Appellant: European Parliament (represented by: V. Montebello-Demogeot, I. Lázaro Betancor, acting as Agents)

Other party to the proceedings: UZ

Form of order sought

The appellant claims that the Court should:

set aside the judgment under appeal;

consequently, dismiss the action at first instance;

order each party to pay its own costs relating to the appeal;

order UZ to pay the costs of the proceedings at first instance.

Grounds of appeal and main arguments

By its first ground of appeal, alleging an error of law, distortion of the facts and a failure to state reasons, the Parliament submits that the General Court erred in finding that the investigations carried out were vitiated by a lack of objective impartiality. One of the investigators’ limited and prior knowledge was not capable of supporting legitimate doubt in respect of his objective impartiality since such doubt could have been dispelled by the involvement of several investigators in the same investigation. That essential point was not even taken into account in the General Court’s findings of fact. Lastly, the General Court did not examine or explain how the alleged lack of objective impartiality in that context could have led to another outcome, as required by the case-law.

The second ground of appeal alleges an error of law, distortion of the facts and a failure to state reasons in respect of the finding of infringement of the principle of equality of arms during the disciplinary council’s proceedings. The Parliament claims that the General Court misconstrued the facts by wrongly holding that the Appointing Authority was represented by two individuals whereas the applicant at first instance, in the presence of his lawyer, had equivalent rights. The Parliament considers that the General Court failed to justify departing from its case-law on the application of the principal of equality of arms in administrative matters and failed to examine whether, in the absence of that alleged irregularity, the procedure could have had a different outcome.

By its third ground of appeal, alleging an error of law, distortion of the facts and a failure to state reasons in respect of the finding by which it held that the applicant at first instance’s right to be heard had been infringed, the Parliament claims that the applicant at first instance had been duly heard, first, orally, on the basis of a delegation from the Appointing Authority and, second, by the submission of his written observations following the hearing. Since a delegation is provided for by internal rules and operates only where, in the interests of the service, the delegating Appointing Authority is prevented from acting itself, the General Court erred in law by holding that Article 22 of Annex IX to the Staff Regulations had not been complied with. Furthermore, the Parliament claims that the General Court erred in regarding the demotion from Grade AD 13 to Grade AD 12 as a serious measure in so far as it involves the loss of a management position. Lastly, the Parliament claims that the General Court did not examine whether, in the event that the applicant at first instance had been heard directly by the Appointing Authority, he could have adduced evidence in addition to that contained in the file and the extent to which the Appointing Authority’s decision could have been different.

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