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Law Notes European Law Notes

National Remedies For Breach Of Individual Rights Under Eu Law Notes

Updated National Remedies For Breach Of Individual Rights Under Eu Law Notes Notes

European Law Notes

European Law

Approximately 1161 pages

European Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB EU law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

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National Remedies for Breach of Individual Rights Under EU Law Notes

CJEU rulings on the impact of EU law in national legal proceedings, combined with national judicial willingness to follow suit, has ensured a deep penetration of EU norms into national practice

  • National courts are, in a sense, also EU courts – as the EU has not created its own system of courts, EU courts are parasitic on national courts

    • This means that the EU has to show some defence to national judicial practices – if you’re going to just take over the system of national courts, you have to at least show some respect to national traditions.

What is national procedural autonomy?


National procedural autonomy provides that if there are no EU rules specifying the remedies and procedures available for breach of EU law, then the matter is left to national law

  • Dougan has suggested that procedural competence” or “national procedural responsibility” are better terms than “procedural autonomy” given that the case law and Art 19(1) TEU clearly emphasises the responsibility of Member States, absent EU rules, for determining the conditions under which EU rights are to be protected.

    • In a similar vein, the language of autonomy is potentially confused – “autonomy” implies that there is a choice. In reality this is just the default back to national rules in the absence of EU rules.

  • Rewe-Zentralfinanz

    • Facts: The applicant applied for a refund, including interest, of charges that they had paid in Germany for inspection costs which had been imposed in violation of the Treaty

      • The national time limit for contesting the validity of national administrative measures had passed, and the case was referred to the CJERU to see whether EU law required that they be granted the remedy sought

    • Held: “The prohibitions have direct effect and applying the principle of cooperation Article 4(3) TEU, national courts are entrusted with ensuring that the legal protection which citizens derived from the direct effect of EU law

      • In the absence of EU rules on the subject, it is for domestic legal systems to designate the courts having jurisdiction to determine the procedural conditions governing actions at law

      • The CJEU also referred to the “no new remedies” rule – “although the Treaty has made it possible in a number of instances for private persons to bring a direct action, where appropriate, before the Court of Justice, it was not intended to create new remedies in the national courts to ensure observance of Community law other than those already laid down by national law”

        • BUT: the no new remedies rule has been qualified in later rulings

          • San Giorgio the CJEU effectively held that a right to repayment must be, in principle, available under national law as this flowed directly from the substantive provisions of EU law in question

          • Unibet – the CJEU insisted that EU law does not require the creation of new remedies, except where it is a apparent from the whole scheme of the national legal system in question that no legal remedy existed which made it possible to ensure, even indirectly, respect for an individual’s rights under Community law.

            • In Unibet, the Court eventually ruled that there was no need for Swedish law to provide a self-standing action to challenge the compatibility of a national provision with EU law because there were other domestic legal remedies available


The rule in Rewe is subject to two important limitations

  • Comet

    • Held:

  1. Principle of Equivalence – national rules must not be less favourable that those governing the same right of action on an internal matter

  2. Principle of Effectiveness – Conditions must not make it impossible in practice to exercise the rights which national courts are obliged to protect

NOTE: the language in Rewe is negative (must not make it impossible), but recently the language has shifted towards a more positive formulation.

  • Some have argued that this represents the CJEU changing its approach.

    • However, this is not the case. Jeremias notes that in cases like i-21 the CJEU puts the negative formulation in brackets, showing that it is the same thing

Beyond this, there are further important qualifications of the principle:

  • Proportionality

    • Sagulo

      • Held: The CJEU held that while states were entitled to impose reasonable penalties for infringements of administration requirements governing EU residence permits by migrant works, the penalties must not be disproportionate to the offence in questions

  • Adequacy and Effective Judicial Protection

    • Von Colson

      • Facts: The plaintiffs were subject to sex discrimination in applying for posts as prison workers

        • They were told that they were only entitled by way of remedy to “reliance loss”, such as the costs of travel to the interview.

          • They were told that they were entitled to no compensation no appointment to the post

      • Held: The CJEU derived from the Equal Treatment Directive the robust principles of the adequacy and effective judicial protection

        • These were later confirmed as applying outside of the sex discrimination context in Johnston, Heylens and Panayotova

        • Krommendijk (2016) distinguishes between Rewe effectiveness and the Von Colson principle of effective judicial protection

          • He ultimately finds that the main difference between the two is the more encompassing nature of PEJP, which entails positive (procedural) obligations

Treaty and Charter Recognition

Article 19(1) TEU and Article 47 of the Charter are a confirmation of the CJEU’s approach in this area.

  • Article 19(1) – Member States shall provide remedies sufficient to ensure effective legal protection in the fields covered by Union law.

  • Article 47 - everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal

How has the principle of effectiveness been developed and applied?


The principle of effectiveness has been developed by the CJEU to...

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