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Case C-85/96 Martínez Sala

[1998] ECR I-2691

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 20:10 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Case C-85/96 Martínez Sala

M was a Spanish national resident in Germany of 25 years who had previously worked there but was currently withut work and receiving benefits. She did not have a residence permit/entitlement, whoch meant under German law that she was refused child benefit (even though the German govt allowed her to reside in Germany). ECJ held that a child raising allowance came within the scope of the EC treaty, so that discrimination on race was prohibited under article 6 EC. As long as a person is lawfully resident in a MS, a joint reading of articles 12 and 18 entitle him to equal treatment with MS nationals in relation to benefits falling within the scope of the treaty. Here, it as discriminatory to require foreign MS nationals resident in Germany to require a document to get child benefits if MS (here German) citizens don’t need it. Court also said it was unnecessary for the claimant to be a worker or possible future worker for thi right to apply. First case that strongly suggested the potential inherent in the Citizenship provisions. Yet even there the right of residence of the individual in Germany was not derived from EC law, but from German law. What if German law had denied any such right of residence? Could one have been derived from EC law? 

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