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Law Notes European Human Rights Law Notes

Legal Limits On European Law Making Notes

Updated Legal Limits On European Law Making Notes

European Human Rights Law Notes

European Human Rights Law

Approximately 305 pages

European Human Rights law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge, UK. These notes cover all the major European Human Rights cases and are perfect for anyone doing an LLB , or masters level legal study in the UK. Due to the international element to this subject, these notes will be an excellent supplement for those doing LLBs abroad....

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our European Human Rights Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Legal limits on European law-making:

  1. Competence

Article 5(1) TEU- The limits of Union competences are governed by the principle of conferral. The use of Union competences is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

Note the distinction between Article 114 TFEU, which permits qualified majority voting, and Article 113 TFEU, which requires that the Council act unanimously. The breadth of EU policy making may be demonstrated by Directive 93/13 EEC, Unfair Contract Terms, having a concern both for harmonisation issues but equally for consumer protection.

Equally, not that even in the absence of specific EU legislation, the Treaty may have a wide impact: Article 18 prohibits any discrimination on grounds of nationality.

Germany v Parliament and Council (Tobacco Advertising)

  • EU introduces Directive which bans tobacco advertising.

  • Germany argues that they do not have competence in this area, as tobacco advertising is not an activity which extends beyond the borders of individual member states (it tends to be on static objects). It is not enough for the internal market merely to be mentioned for the purposes of Article 114- it must actually contribute.

  • The Court HELD

  • A measure adopted on the basis of Article 114 must genuinely have as its object the improvement of the conditions for the establishment and functioning of the internal market.

  • If this condition is fulfilled, the legislature cannot be prevented from relying on that legal basis on the ground that public health protection is a decisive factor in the choices to be made.

  • It is clear that differences in advertising may cause barriers to trade. Equally, the trend to increasing hostility to tobacco advertising in Member States makes it probable that obstacles to the free movement of persons will arise in the future. However, this is not the case for ‘static’ advertising, in hotels, restaurants and cafés.

  • The distortion must be appreciable: must actually contribute to eliminating appreciable distortions of competition.

  • RESULT- Directive annulled in its entirety.

QUESTION: Do subsequent cases indicate a general power to regulate the internal market? Craig argues that the limits on Article 114 have been loosened or relaxed by subsequent case law.

Craig: Two possible readings of the case law delineating the scope of Article 114 TFEU

The positive reading:

Article 114 is central to the scheme of the treaty, the principle vehicle for the passage of harmonising measures. It is therefore legitimate for it to be given a broad interpretation, so as to provide the legal base for EU measures designed to enhance the establishment and functioning of the internal market. It is therefore legitimate for it to be given a broad interpretation, so as to provide the legal base for EU measures designed to enhance the establishment and functioning of the internal market.

The cautious reading:

While adhering to the (positive) decision in Tobacco advertising in form, subsequent case law has in reality undermined it in substance, and comes close to affording the EU a general regulatory power. This is so for a number of reasons: the ECJ has been willing to find some connection between national disparities and the four freedoms so as to trigger Art 114, without too close an inquiry as to the reality of the impact on those freedoms; it has legitimated resort to Article 114 where there are national disparities which could in the future impact on the internal market, subject only to the relatively lax standard that obstacles to trade must be likely to result; and it has affirmed that recourse to 114 is possible where the preceding conditions are met, notwithstanding that protection of, for example, public health is a decisive feature of the contested legislation.

Ex parte BAT

  • The likelihood of member states implementing divergent rules on labelling and tar yields justified a Directive harmonising the area.

  • Weatherill: there were significant arguments to the effect that the size required under the Directive for the health warning labels precluded a trader labelling effectively in compliance with the rules of more than a small number of Member States.

  • The Court dealt with the subsidiarity issue by simply cross-referring to the paragraphs of the judgement which dealt with proportionality.

Swedish Match

  • An attack on the banning of the placing on the market of snus. The litigation was driven by a Swedish producer of snus unable to sell the product anywhere in the EU apart from Sweden itself, who had negotiated a derogation in its act of accession.

  • The Court ruled that the presence of public health considerations as a decisive factor in the shaping of the regime did not deprive it of a valid basis in Article 95 EC where conditions for recourse to that Article were satisfied.

  • It was common ground that there were differences at the time of adoption of that directive, between the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States.

  • Thus, the conditions were satisfied.

  • The CONTRAST with the original Tobacco Advertising case is that the requirement of a genuine intention to improve the conditions for the establishment and functioning of the internal market was found.

  • Weatherill: a revealing case: even a ban on a product may fall within the legitimate scope of harmonisation measures. This improves the functioning of the market as to safe products. There is a ‘kinder’ reading of the case, that the specific ban fell within the general legislative measure. One bans unsafe products in order to foment the trade of safe products. However, this is still extraordinarily permissive, and encourages the drafting of legislative measures which are broad not targeted.

Germany v Parliament v Council

  • The Tobacco Advertising Directive annulled in Case C-376/98 was replaced. This new Directive was more narrowly drawn, focusing in particular on obstacles to free movement resulting from differences in national rules governing tobacco advertising....

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