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Case 71/76 Thieffry

[1977] ECR 765

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 19:45 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Case 71/76 Thieffry

T obtained a doctorate in law in Belgium (and practiced as an advocate in Belgium) and got French university recognition of his degree as equivalent to a French law degree, and he was awarded a certificate of aptitude for the profession of ‘avocat’. However the Paris bar refused him admission to the trainee stage on the grounds that he lacked a french law degree as required by French law. ECJ said that the relevant professional bodies had a duty to ensure their practices were compliant with EC law, and that article 43 could be directly relied upon, regardless of the fact that there was no implementing measures for law, unlike other professions. (ECJ seem to be concerned about arbitrary distinctions between professions rather than whether article 43 really should confer direct effect). Here, the fact that T had a degree recognised as equivalent to a French law degree, the state authorities were in breach of article 43 by not admitting him. 

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