If the time limit given for the implementation of the directive has not expired, it cannot have direct effect. Directives were directly effective only if the prescribed date, by which the Member State should have implemented it, had passed. Additionally, in instances where the Member State has introduced the required legislation, but has done so defectively, the directive may still be directly effective
ECJ: reasoning of estoppel used: member states were estopped from relying on their failure to implement a directive so as to refuse to recognise the directive in court. Thus the member states could not refuse to recognise directives by failure to implement them.