Independent Employment Tribunal

Due to its status as an intergovernmental organisation established under public international law and pursuant to Article 2 of its Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, SKAO enjoys immunity from national jurisdiction and execution within the scope of its official activities. As a result, employment-related disputes within the organisation do not fall under the jurisdiction of national courts.

To provide SKAO employees with a legal remedy for the settlement of disputes, SKAO has established an Independent Employment Tribunal, which has authority to settle SKAO employment disputes.

The Independent Employment Tribunal is an independent tribunal composed of six judges, appointed by SKAO’s Council. The IET is assisted by a secretariat who are appointed from amongst SKAO’s staff to carry out administrative duties on behalf of the IET. The secretariat act independently and impartially, and are subject only to the authority of the IET.

The decisions of the IET are legally binding on all Parties.

Regulations and Rules:

The IET has jurisdiction to rule on applications or appeals brought by employees or by former employees of SKAO, or any other person who falls within the scope of application of the rules and policies governing staff or recruitment of employees of the SKAO (excluding CSIRO Staff and SARAO Staff working under an Agreement for Bi-lateral Collaboration), against a final decision of the Director-General (or their delegate).

Applications at first instance will be admissible only if the SKAO’s internal dispute resolution procedures have been exhausted.

The functioning of the IET is set out in the Regulations of the Tribunal. The IET applies the Rules of Procedure as set out as annex to the IET Regulations. The Tribunal may amend its Rules of Procedure.

The Judges:

The Independent Employment Tribunal Judges are experienced legal professionals: qualified as lawyers with a minimum of 10 years standing or jurisconsults of recognised competence. The current Judges are:

Chris de Cooker, President of the IET (Dutch national)
Kieran Bradley, Vice-President of the IET (British and Irish national)
Sarah Christie (British and South African national)
Eva Gröniger-Voss (German national)
Margie Tannock (Australian national)
Ming Wu (Chinese national)


The IET secretariat provide administrative services to the IET.

A copy of the IET Regulations and Rules, and forms for submission of a claim, can be obtained by contacting the secretariat by email:

Please note the secretariat does not provide legal or employment advice.
Last modified on 04 August 2023