In his article, Mertens de Wilmars, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities from 1967 to 1984, demonstrates the importance of case-law as a factor in European integration. The author explains the role of the judiciary in the creation of a specific legal system at Community level.
In this contribution, written 30 years after the Dassonville judgment, the lawyer Vassilis Hatzopoulos, Assistant Professor at the Democritus University of Thrace and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, reviews the developments in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities relating to the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons.
On 2 November 1999, the daily newspaper Luxemburger Wort outlines the substance of the lecture given at the University Centre of Luxembourg by Jean Mischo, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, on the contribution made by the European Court of Justice to the establishment of a Community environmental law.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC), the Court’s Press and Information Division includes among the material made available to the press a list of ‘34 judgments of general interest’ that have greatly influenced its case-law.
During the official audience of 4 December 2002 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC), the speakers acknowledge the influential role played by the case-law of the Court in promoting the development of the legal order of the European Union.
The judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Communities often arouse the interest of public opinion owing to the immediate impact they have on people’s lives. This article, published in the German daily newspaper, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, represents an example of this in the field of public health.
In his editorial dated 25 January 2006, Ferdinando Riccardi, leader writer for the Europe Daily Bulletin, comments on the controversy stirred up by a judgment of the Court of Justice delivered on 13 September. This annulled a Council Framework Decision which was adopted on a flawed legal basis because of the question of Community competence in environmental matters.
In his editorial dated 26 January 2006, Ferdinando Riccardi, leader writer for the Europe Daily Bulletin, defends the case-law of the Court of Justice which guarantees the application of the Community method when legislative competence does not fall within the remit of the Member States but within that of the institutions of the European Union.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities from 1967 to 1985, outlines the duties of the Community Judge and criticises the notion of a ‘change in judicial doctrine’.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore presents the Court of Justice as the only Community institution which has been able adequately to fulfil its role as a factor for integration.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, recalls the major judgments handed down by the Court between 1962 and 1966 — before he took up his post in 1967 — which constitute the basic judgments of Community law.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, recalls some landmark judgments handed down by the Court while he was in office between 1967 and 1985.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, recalls some landmark judgments handed down by the Court after he left office in 1985.
The Van Gend & Loos judgment is one of the most important judgments in the development of the Community legal order. The European Court of Justice specifies that the Community constitutes a new legal order of international law for the benefit of which the States have limited their sovereign rights and the subjects of which comprise not only Member States but also their nationals. The Court concludes from this a fundamental principle: that of the direct effect of Community law.
A fundamental judgment of the Court in respect of principles, the Costa v ENEL judgment shows that the EEC Treaty has created its own legal system which has become an integral part of the legal systems of the Member States, and that Community law takes precedence over national law.
It emerges from the 'Les Verts' judgment that the action for annulment may lie against measures adopted by the European Parliament intended to have legal effects vis-à-vis third parties. This interpretation of Article 173 of the EEC Treaty (Article 230 of the EC Treaty) derives from the statement that 'the European Economic Community is a Community based on the rule of law, inasmuch as neither its Member States nor its institutions can avoid a review of the question whether the measures adopted by them are in conformity with the basic constitutional charter, the Treaty'.
The Francovich judgment lays down the principle of the liability of the State with regard to individuals for damages deriving from the failure to transpose a directive. The obligation of the State to make reparation applies regardless of the direct effect of the directive: even if the provisions which confer rights on individuals are not sufficiently precise and unconditional for them to be directly invoked, damage is considered to have been caused to the individual owing to the nonfulfilment of the State.
In this speech, delivered on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Court of Justice, Ole Due, President of the Court of Justice from 1988 to 1994, presents the role of the Court in the protection of the rights of individuals vis-à-vis both Member States and Community institutions. The Court remedies shortcomings in the Treaty through its case-law, while contributing to the development of the Community legal order.
In this judgment, the Court supplements the Stauder precedent by stating that respect for fundamental rights forms an integral part of the general principles of law protected by the Court of Justice and that the protection of such rights, whilst inspired by the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, must be ensured within the framework of the structure and objectives of the Community.
According to the Nold judgment, the Court of Justice, with a view to safeguarding fundamental rights, draws its inspiration not only from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, but also from international treaties for the protection of human rights on which the Member States have collaborated or of which they are signatories. Furthermore, the Court considers that certain rights, in this instance the right of ownership and the freedom to engage in trade or profession, may be subject to certain limits justified by the overall objectives pursued by the Community.
It emerges from the Hauer judgment that the right to property forms an integral part of the general principles of Community law, the observance of which is ensured by the Court. In safeguarding the fundamental rights, the Court is bound to draw inspiration from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States and the international Treaties for the protection of human rights on which the Member States have collaborated or of which they are signatories (in this case, the First Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights).
The AETR judgment shows that powers which, at the outset, have not been conferred exclusively upon the European Community may become so progressively through the exercise of those powers by the Community. In this case, the implementation of a common transport policy by the Community, through the laying down of common rules of an internal nature (adoption of a regulation), excludes the possibility of concurrent powers on the part of the Member States throughout the sphere of transport. The Court of Justice, while aware that the system of internal Community measures may not be separated from that of external relations, concludes that Member States may no longer enter into agreements with third countries in this field.
In the Rutili judgment, the Court of Justice provides a strict interpretation of the public policy reservation which may possibly restrict the free movement of workers in the Member States. As an exception to a fundamental principle of Community law, its application must comply with all Community rules. Accordingly, any measures which may be taken by a Member State must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual posing a genuine and sufficiently serious threat, and must apply indiscriminately to nationals of the Member State and to other Community nationals.
In its Opinion 1/76, the Court of Justice rules on the distribution of powers between the Communities and the Member States in the field of external relations. Whenever Community law has created for the institutions of the Community powers within its internal system for the purpose of attaining a specific objective, the Community has authority to enter into the international commitments necessary for the attainment of that objective, even in the absence of an express provision in that connection.
In the Sacchi judgment, the Court of Justice defines the notions of services (the transmission of television signals) and of goods (the physical medium for the signals). According to the Court, Article 37 of the EC Treaty (now Article 31), in the Chapter on the elimination of quantitative restrictions on the free movement of goods, refers to commercial monopolies and not to service monopolies. Accordingly, Community law does not prevent the Italian monopoly on television advertising insofar as it can be justified by ‘considerations of public interest of a non-economic nature'. However, this principle is tempered by the condition that exclusive rights of this nature must not have a discriminatory influence on trade between Member States, and by the application of the rules on competition, in particular Article 90 (now Article 86).
In this judgment, the Court rules on the freedom of establishment. The rule on equal treatment with nationals is one of the fundamental legal provisions of the Community and may be directly invoked by the nationals of the Member States. The Court considers that this rule is contained in Article 52 of the EC Treaty (now Article 43) relative to the freedom of establishment.
Preliminary ruling of the Court as regards the free movement of goods and competition (interpretation of Articles 30 to 33, 36 and 85 of the EEC Treaty, now Articles 28, 30 and 81 of the EC Treaty). The Court examines, in particular, the notion of a 'measure having an effect equivalent' to a quantitative restriction on imports.
In this judgment, the Court recognises the direct effect not only of the provisions of the Treaties (Article 39 –ex Article 48– of the EC Treaty), but also of the directives laid down for their application (Article 3 of Directive No 64/221 of the Council). It interprets the notion of 'public policy' as a justification for derogating from a fundamental principle of Community law: the freedom of movement of workers.
When a national of one Member State desirous of exercising a professional activity in another Member State has obtained a diploma in his country of origin which has been recognised as an equivalent qualification by the country of establishment, the act of demanding the national diploma prescribed by the legislation of the country of establishment constitutes a restriction incompatible with the freedom of establishment.
In this case, the Court of Justice is called upon to rule on the scope of Article 119 of the EEC Treaty (now Article 141 of the EC Treaty) which provides that men and women should receive equal pay. Even though Article 119 is limited to the problem of pay discrimination between men and women workers, and even though the Court refuses to extend the scope of that Article to other conditions of employment, it nonetheless recognises in its judgment that the elimination of discrimination based on the sex of workers forms part of the general principles of Community law. As that principle forms part of the Community legal system, it may subsequently take the form of precise rules of law, which are directly applicable and which will guarantee the effective equality of men and women workers.
This judgment, known as the 'Cassis de Dijon judgment', is a keystone of the development of case-law relative to the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on imports and of measures having equivalent effect on the free movement of goods (Article 30 of the EEC Treaty, now Article 28 of the EC Treaty).
The imposition on students who are nationals of other Member States of a charge, a registration fee or the so-called ‘minerval’ as a condition of access to vocational training, where the same fee is not imposed on students who are nationals of the host Member State, constitutes discrimination on grounds of nationality contrary to Article 7 of the EEC Treaty (now Article 12 of the EC Treaty).
A precedent-setting judgment on the free movement of goods. The Court modifies its 'Cassis de Dijon' precedent, stating that national provisions restricting or prohibiting 'certain selling arrangements' are not covered by Article 30 (now Article 28 of the EC Treaty) so long as those provisions apply to all relevant traders operating within the national territory and so long as they affect in the same manner, in law and in fact, the marketing of domestic products and of those from other Member States.
This judgment, which has had significant repercussions on the way in which sport is organised in the European Union, relates essentially to the free movement of workers, in this case professional football players. The Court considers that Article 48 (now Article 39) of the EC Treaty precludes the application of the rules laid down by sporting associations with regard to transfers of professional players and to nationality clauses.