Thursday, May 06, 2010

This Week in Luxembourg

The Grand Chamber this week ruled in a Brussels I case, concerning the overlap between the EU rules on jurisdiction in civil matters and specific treaties that concern the same problem, in this case the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road. The Court's conclusion was that the CMR Convention did apply here, since generally lex specialis treaties such as this one apply as long as their rules are of sufficient quality (my word) and as long as they don't get in the way of free movement. The ECJ does not, however, have jurisdiction to interpret the CMR Convention. TNT Express.

ECJ judgements:

In a welcome piece of good news for airlines everywhere, the Third Chamber interpreted art. 22(2) of the Montreal Convention, which limits the damages an airline might have to pay regarding damaged, missing luggage to 1000 Special Drawing Rights, as covering both material and non-material damage. Since the value of an SDR currently stands at about € 1,15, that means mr. Walz can only claim € 1150, instead of being able to claim an additional € 500 in non-material damage. Walz v. Clickair.

Also in the Third Chamber, Poland lost an infringement proceedings, because it failed to carry out a detailed market analysis before engaging in price regulation in the high speed internet market, in violation of art. 16 and 17 of Directive 2002/22. Commission v. Poland (FR)

General Court:

In the General Court, Judge Dehousse rejected an action for annullment brought by the City of Napoli. (Cf. art. 11(1)(3) and art. 14(2)(1)(b) of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court for an explanation as to how a single judge came to hear this case.) The City's objection was against a decision by the Commission to reduce certain Regional Development funds. City of Napoli v. Commission.


AG Sharpston wrote an opinion clarifying the notion of transferring an undertaking in its entirety, preserving its autonomy, since this is important in the context of Directive 2001/23 on employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings. UGT-FSP

AG Kokott argued that men, too, should be able to get breastfeeding leave, citing Directive 76/207. Roca Álvarez.

She also discussed a Danish case about potential age discrimination, since the golden handshake given to employees upon their dismissal was calculated taking into account whether the employee was entitled to a (state) pension. Applying Directive 2000/78, she concludes that such an approach would generally be unlawful. Ole Andersen (NL, FR,DE)

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