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Reinhard Gebhard v Consiglio dell'Ordine degli Avvocati e Procuratori di Milano

[1995] ECR I-4165

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 16:50 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Reinhard Gebhard v Consiglio dell'Ordine degli Avvocati e Procuratori di Milano

 G was a German lawyer and member of the German bar, but was resident and practised in Italy. The Milan Bar Council argued that he had infringed Italian law by using the title of ‘avocato’ which was reserved to those who were members of the Italian bar. ECJ said that a professional who pursues his activity continuously in another MS from an established professional base comes within the provisions on the ‘right of establishment’ and not those relating to the provision of services. The conditions for the exercise of that right of establishment depends on the activity the EU national from another MS intends to pursue. Finally national measures liable to hinder or make less attractive the exercise of the right of establishment can comply with the right of establishment if 4 conditions are met: They must be applied (1) in a non-discriminatory manner, (2) must be justified by imperative requirements in the general interest, (3) must be suitable for securing the objective which they pursue and (4) must not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain that objective.
 
ECJ: Right of Establishment comes from articles 43-48 EC. The right to establishment is broad, envisaging that a person will participate in the economic life of a MS other than his own one on a “stable and continuous basis”, whereas the freedom to provide services envisages a merely temporary participation in activity in the other MS. 
 
But not every national measure which restricts commercial freedom constitutes a barrier to trade between Member States:

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