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Case 33/74 van Binsbergen

[1974] ECR 1299

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 16:47 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Case 33/74 van Binsbergen

A Dutch law said that for a lawyer to represent someone in the Dutch courts it was necessary for the lawyer to be resident in the Netherlands. P challenged this as being contrary to article 49 EC (freedom to provide services by a person/undertaking in one MS to a consumer in another shall not be prohibited). ECJ held that a requirement of ‘habitual residence’ was such a restriction, and that since article 49 (and 50) were directly effective, they could be relied on before the national courts. 

ECJ: A requirement of residence in the MS concerned may deprive art. 49 of its whole purpose (namely the free provision of services across borders). However the court acknowledged that “a Member State cannot be denied the right to take measures to prevent the exercise by a person providing services whose activity is entirely or principally directed towards its territory […] for the purpose of avoiding the professional rules of conduct which would be applicable to him if he were established within that State”. Control of a professional activity could, however, be easily satisfied by having an address in the country concerned.

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