Embassy Interpreter Dismissal Case

Date29 Abril 1985
CourtAdministrative Court (Austria)
Austria, Administrative Court.
Embassy Interpreter Dismissal Case1

State immunity Jurisdictional immunity Contract of employment Embassy employee Resident of receiving State employed as interpreter Action for wrongful dismissal Whether State entitled to immunity

States Representation before foreign courts Identification of State party Action brought against embassy of State Whether embassy possessing separate legal personality Whether a sufficient identification of sending State as defendant

Diplomatic relations Representation of sending State before courts of receiving State Whether action naming embassy as defendant an action against sending State The law of Austria

Summary: The facts:A woman employed locally as an interpreter by a foreign embassy in Vienna appealed to the Conciliation Board of Vienna against a notice issued by the Embassy terminating her employment. The Board rejected her application on the ground that the Embassy of X, cited as her employer in the application, was not the correct defendant and the amendment to State X-Embassy of State X had been made out of time. The woman appealed to the Administrative Court.

Held:The appeal was allowed and the decision of the Conciliation Board was quashed.

(1) Use of the title Embassy of X in the application was sufficient identification of the employer since a foreign embassy did not have an independent legal personality and was merely a representative organ of the foreign State concerned.

(2) (Obiter) The contract of employment in this case was to be qualified as a legal relationship under private law in respect of which a foreign State could be subject to Austrian jurisdiction by virtue of the rules of public international law.

The following is the text of the relevant part of the judgment of the Court:

The Administrative Court holds as follows:

The decision of the Conciliation Board (Einigungsamt) of Vienna of 28 May 1984, concerning the appeal against a notice of termination of employment (interested party: State X, Embassy of State X in Vienna) is quashed due to unlawfulness resulting from a violation of rules of procedure.

Grounds of the judgment

In her application, referred to as an action to set aside a notice of termination of employment of 19 April 1984, the complainant argued before the defendant authority that she had been employed by the Embassy of State X in Vienna since 15 September 1980 as an interpreter/translator for Polish, German and English. In addition to her, 23 others were...

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