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Law Notes European Law Notes

Remedies National Procedural Autonomy Notes

Updated Remedies National Procedural Autonomy Notes

European Law Notes

European Law

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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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Table of Contents

I - Remedies in the National Courts 3

A – Statement of the Principle of (conditional) national procedural autonomy? 3

Case 33/76 Rewe-Zentralfinanz [1976] ECR 1989 3

Case 45/76 Comet [1976] ECR 2043 3

B – Specific Applications of the Principle 4

1 – National Time Limits 4

Case C-255/00 Grundig Italiana [2002] ECR I – 8003; 5

Case C-326/96 Levez [1998] ECR I-7835 (equal pay case which turned on the applicability of a national limitation period) 5

2 – Interim Protection 5

Case C-213/89 Factortame (No. 1) [1990] ECR 1-2433 (against a NATIONAL act potentially in breach of EU law) 6

Cases 143/88 & 92/89 Zuckerfabrik Suderdithmarschen [1991] ECR I-415 (against a potentialy invalid EU ACT) 6

Case C-465/93 Atlanta [1995] ECR I-3761 (against a potentially invalid EU ACT) 6

Case C-432/05 Unibet v. Justitiekanslern [2007] ECR I-2271 7

3 – Setting aside a defence in national law? 7

Case C-453/99 Courage Ltd. v. Crehan [2001] ECR I-6297 (no blanket ban for breach of competition law) 7

4 – Legal Aid 7

Case C-279/09 DEB v. Germany, [2010] ECR I-3849 (nuanced ruling on whether effectiveness requires legal aid) 7

NOTE P. Oliver (2011) 48 CMLRev 2023 8

5 – Res Judicata 9

Case C-392/04 & C-422/04 i-21 Germany and Arcor v. Germany [2006] ECR I-8559; 9

C-119/05 Lucchini [2007] ECR I-6199 (duty to recover State aid in spite of res judicata); 9

Case C-2/08 Fallimento Olimiclub Srl [2009] ECR I-7501; 9

*Case C-168/05 Mostaza Claro v. Centro Móvil Milenium [2006] ECR I-10421; 10

6 – Raising issues of EU law ex officio 10

*Case C-168/05 Mostaza Claro v. Centro Móvil Milenium [2006] ECR I-10421; 11

7 – Creating new remedies 11

Case C-432/05 Unibet v. Justitiekanslern [2007] ECR I-2271 (must be able to bring actions to court themselves) 11

NOTE A. Arnull, ‘The Principle of Effective Judicial Protection in EU law: an Unruly Horse?’ (2011) 36 ELRev 51; 11

C – Is there such thing as procedural autonomy? 12

Bobek, ‘Why There is no Principle of Procedural Autonomy of the Member States’ in B. de Witte and H. Micklitz (eds), The European Court of Justice and Autonomy of the Member States (Intersentia, 2011) 12

M. Ross, ‘Effectiveness in the European legal order(s): beyond supremacy to constitutional proportionality?’ (2006) 31 ELRev 476; 12

II - Actions for damages in cases of breach of EU law 13

D. Leczykiewicz, ‘Effectiveness of EU Law before National Courts’, ch. 9 in Arnull & Chalmers (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law (OUP, 2015) 13

* Cases C-6 & 9/90 Francovich [1991] ECR I-5357; 13

Case C-48/93 Factortame (No. 3)/Brasserie de Pêcheur [1996] ECR I-1029 (conditions of liability) 15

Case C-392/93 R v. HM Treasury, ex parte British Telecom [1996] ECR I-1631; 17

*Case C-224/01 Köbler [2003] ECR I-10239; 17

NOTE S. Varga, Why is the Kobler Principle not Applied in Practice? (2016) 23 MJ 6 page 984 21

Case C-173/03 Traghetti del Mediterraneo [2006] ECR I-5177; 23

Case C-160/14 Ferreira da Silva e Brito, Judgment of 9 September 2015; 23

Dougan, ‘Addressing issues of protective scope within the Francovich right to reparation’ (2017) 13 Euro Const Law Review 124. 24

Harlow, ‘Francovich and the Problem of the Disobedient State’ (1996) 2 ELJ 199; 25

* M. Dougan, ‘What is the point of Francovich?’, Ch. 14 in T. Tridimas and P. Nebbia (eds.), European Union Law for the Twenty-First Century, Volume 1: rethinking the new legal order (Hart Publishing, 2004). 25

Scott and Barber, State Liability under Francovich for Decisions of National Courts (2004) 26

Beutler, State Liability for Breaches of Community Law by National Courts, (2009) 46 CMLRev 773 26

Case C-453/99 Courage Ltd. v. Crehan [2001] ECR I-6297 27

Weatherill, Law and Values in the European Union 28

I - Remedies in the National Courts

Article 19(1) TEU (MSs shall provide remedies sufficient to ensure effective legal protection…) and Article 47 Charter (right to an effective remedy before national courts) are both confirmation of the CJEU’s approach.

The issue highlights a tension between:

  • Need to secure effective legal protection

  • Impossibility of constructing a comprehensive pan-European machinery of redress (because would be impracticable and touch on sensitive questions (types of interests to protect, time limits, types of loss that can be compensated…) that are addressed differently across Member States)

A – Statement of the Principle of (conditional) national procedural autonomy?

Note that in both cases the CJEU decided that on the facts the national procedural rules are reasonable.

Case 33/76 Rewe-Zentralfinanz [1976] ECR 1989
  • Facts: A trader claimed a refund for charges unlawfully levied by German authorities. German authorities argued that the limitation period had passed and the trader couldn’t have claimed if the measure had breached an equivalent domestic law.

  • CJEU ([5]): the prohibitions have direct effect, and applying the principle of cooperation (Article 4(3) TEU), national courts are entrusted with ensuring the legal protection which citizens derive from the direct effect of EU provisions. Thus, in the absence of EU rules on the subject, it is for domestic legal systems to:

    • Designate the courts having jurisdiction

    • Determine the procedural conditions governing actions

  • Provided that:

    • conditions cannot be less favourable than those relating to similar actions of a domestic nature

    • conditions cannot make it impossible in practice to exercise the rights which the national courts are obliged to protect

  • Reasonable time limits are OK, and with regards to actions of a fiscal nature is an application of the fundamental principle of legal certainty.

The second condition (impossible in practice…) pushes for the development of an EU system of remedies even where it is not available in domestic cases sets a minimum standard of protection and provides some harmonization of domestic remedies and procedures.


Case 45/76 Comet [1976] ECR 2043
  • CJEU: in the absence of...

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