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Direct Effect And Indirect Effect Notes

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A more recent version of these Direct Effect And Indirect Effect notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Revision: EU

Direct Effect A258 TFEU: Commission may bring a case to the CJ vs a MS for not fulfilling treaty obligations A.259: MS can do the same vs another MS Van Gend en Loos: 1963 - imported formaldeyhyde from WG in 1960 - duty payable was increased from 3%-8%


A12 EEC (now A30 TFEU): Abolition of customs


CJ: 'A12 must be interpreted as producing direct effects and creating individual rights' - MS must protect

A new legal order: Rights + obligations which has direct effect on MS and on citizens - new legal order for which the MS have limited their sovereigntyIndividuals within MS can seek to enforce their rights in national courts - more likely obligations will be upheldExample of CJ filling in the gaps of the framework treaty

Supremacy of EU law:New legal order requires that EU law is supreme over nationalConfirmed in Costa v Enel (1964) : CJ - 'impossible' for MS to 'accord precedence to a unilateral +
subsequent measure over a legal system accepted by them on the basis of reciprocity'

Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato v Simmenthal SPA (1978): confirmed absolute nature of D.E - 'every national court must...apply community law in its entirety' Direct effect vs. Direct applicability


A288 TFEU: defines regulations as having 'general application...directly applicable in all MS' - doesn't need to be imported into national law: automatically becomes part of domestic law


Directives: binding only 'as to the results to be achieved'


In UK: treaties themselves not directly applicable - need parliamentary ratification

VGL criteria

1. Sufficiently clear and precise to give rise to an identifiable individual right

2. Unconditional


Two conditions defined in Cooperativa Agricola Zootecnica A. Antonio and Others v Amministrazione della Finanze dello Stato


In Costa: a provision which satisfies VGL is 'legally complete and capable of producing direct effects'

Direct effect won't be precluded by:Mere fact that provision raises questions of interpretation: Van Duyn v Home OfficeConditions which are intended to ensure that the right is correctly applied w/o abuse and which don't affect the definition of the right itself: Becker v Finanzamt 1

Revision: EU

[EU LAW + NATIONAL LAW: SUPREMACY, DIRECT EFFECT, INDIRECT EFFECT + STATE LIABILITY]Existence of derogations which are subject to judicial control: Van DuynJust because the MS can choose btw several means of achieving result: Francovich v Italian Govt

Defrenne v SABENA (No 2): Air hostess vs. employer: sexual discrimination - A119 EC (A.157 TFEU) - men/women should receive equal pay - court says that treaty article was sufficiently clear but not clear enough to protect vs. indirect discrimination Van Colson v Lord Nordhein: 2 women failed in applications to work in state prisons for male offendors - A6 of Equal Treatment Directive not sufficiently clear/precise for specific action Francovich v Italian Rep.: Considering Directive 80/987 - about workers being guaranteed wages in event of bankruptcy - clearly identified persons entitled to right and the content of right itself - but not who should provide it Direct effect off treaty articles


VGL - negative obligations


Alfons Lutticke GmbH v Hauptzollamt Saarlouis - once there was no discretion lefts to MS to give effect to a positive obligation regarding removal of discriminatory internal taxes - the provision became directly effective


Vertical + horizontal direct effect: Defrenne (No. 2): Court made it clear that A157 TFEU - horizontally as well as vertically directly effective

Direct effect of regulations: Forms of binding EU law (A288 TFEU) - capable of being directly effective Franz Grad v Finanzmant Traunstein - regulations directly applicable and therefore capable of producing direct effects Antonio Munoz y Cia SA v Frumer Ltd: 'By their nature capable of producing direct effects' Recommendations and Opinions: not binding EU law - so not directly effective (Grimaldi v Fonds des Maladies) Direct effect of Directives


Directly effective (Van Duyn) - Dutch scientologist case - but only if it is a vertical claim vs. the state

Implementation date must have passed: date specified in directive or if the directive is silent - within 20 days of publication in the official journal (A.297 TFEU)Public Ministero v Ratti: once deadline passes - Ratti could protect himself from prosecution by relying on Directive - reliance on D 77/173 was successful but reliance on D 77/173 was not - as date had not passedMarks & Spencer PLC v Commissioner of Customs + Excise: Even if directive has been completely implemented - citizens can still rely on a clear, precise and unconditional directive in their national court where the national measures are improperly applied

Vertical but NOT horizontal - "Emanations of the state" 2

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