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Case C-194/94 CIA Security International SA v Signalson SA and Securitel SPRL

[1996] ECR I – 2201:

Case summary last updated at 13/02/2020 21:35 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Case C-194/94 CIA Security International SA v Signalson SA and Securitel SPRL

CIA asked Belgian court to order D to stop unfair trading practices, such as saying that CIA’s alarm had not been approved undr Belgian legislation. CIA accepted that it wasn’t so approved, but argued that specifications set out in Belgian legislation contravened a directive as it had not been notified to the commission, as directive article required. The ECJ ruled that failure to notify the commission of the national legislation constituted a substantial degradation of the effectiveness of the directive, which was intended to lower barriers to trade, and that the Belgian government's breach of the directive made the Belgian law inapplicable to individuals.
ECJ: Part of the aim of the directive was to promote free movement of goods, so that a breach by failure to notify of new specifications in legislation would render that legislation inapplicable to individuals. Thus CIA could rely on the directive against obligations imposed by national legislation. However this does actually affect the respondent since they are removed from defence of ‘truth’ against the charge of unfair trading practices based on libel, so that potential liability is opened up…NB also no reference here to the Marshall ruling, nor the fact that the parties were both private 

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