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C-456/98 Centrosteel v Adipol

[2000] ECR I-6007

Case summary last updated at 13/02/2020 21:20 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case C-456/98 Centrosteel v Adipol

(contrast para 17 and the ruling proper): This case concerned an unimplemented directive that applied different rules to contracts with commercial agents to national legislation (directive said validity of contracts shouldn’t depend on commercial agents being registered). ECJ confirmed indirect effect: “the national court that has to interpret that law must do so, as far as possible, in the light of the wording and the purpose of the directive so as to achieve the result it has in view”. This applies even where the unimplemented directive postdates the national law, so that the effect on civil obligations is re-interpreted (de facto changed) retroactively. It therefore said that the national law, interpreted compatibly with the directive, meant that there was no need for the register.
AG Jacobs: While indirect effect interpretation may not aggravate criminal liability, it is permitted to lead to increased civil liability or a civil obligation that would not otherwise have existed. 
This all suggests that the unimplemented directive has an ‘exclusionary effect’ (Craig) i.e. it prevents conflicting national law from having effect, but does not impose obligations itself. 

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