Düsseldorf, February 20, 2018 – On January 26, 2018 the Council of Europe passed a resolution on the judicial immunity of international organizations. This has the objective of strengthening employee rights in particular. International organizations will be encouraged to provide for more transparency in their personnel policies and create mechanisms for the protection of employee rights.
Cohausz & Florack (C&F) welcomes this push forward by the Council of Europe and sees particular need for action in the organizational structures of the European Patent Office (EPO). Prof. Dr. Siegfried Broß, former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, recently addressed conflicts that have arisen in recent years between the administration of the EPO, the workforce, and the trade union, SUEPO, in an interview with C&F in December 2017. Broß warned that these structures will be detrimental to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. According to the expert, this could complicate the path to a Unified Patent Court (UPC).
Broß has now even more recently discussed possible solutions in an interview with C&F: For example, labor disputes could be assigned to a UPC member state that, like Germany, has accomplished labor jurisdiction. An internal solution within the union of member states is equally conceivable: “For this purpose an own jurisdiction should be set up, being subject to the indirect parliamentary control of the Member States, and founded on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” explains Broß.
The former judge of the Federal Constitutional Court also addressed this issue in his speech at the opening of C&F’s new Munich office in November 2017 in Munich. His speech and interview notes are available on the C&F website: