Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Week in Luxembourg

The new transfer system in football survived an attack by Olympique Lyonnais before the Grand Chamber this week. The French system, however, was not so lucky. Olympique Lyonnais v. Olivier Bernard. (See also this Dutch blog postabout the case, and the BBC story here.)

According to the Eighth Chamber, a "cinema" where you watch the movie on your own, in a cubicle, starting the movie when you please by inserting a coin is not "admission to a cinema" within the meaning of the 6th VAT Directive, meaning that such a cinema does not qualify for the low VAT rate. Erotic Center v. Belgium. (See also the BBC story on this case.)

Interpreting art. 34 of the Universal Service Directive (Directive 2002/22), as well as the "principle of effective judicial protection", the Fourth Chamber found that an Italian law that made admissibility of a case in the area of electronic communications dependent on whether the parties had first attempted to settle out of court was not fundamentally incompatible with Community Law. The Court did, however, make some substantial demands. Alassini.

While the ruling in X Holding recently upheld a possibly discriminatory element of the Dutch tax laws, today's ruling inGielen goes the other way. The manner in which the "hours worked" of a self-employed person are calculated for the purposes of corporate income tax is judged to be unjustifiably discriminatory.

In Trubowest, the Fourth Chamber upheld the CFI's ruling on appeal. The case concerned a non-contractual liability claim arising out of a cartel and dumping case. The ECJ agreed that the EU courts did not have jurisdiction over some of the claims, while for others the requisite causality was missing. Notably, the ECJ ruled that the CFI was entitled to examine causality before the alleged illegality of the acts in question. (par. 40-50) Citing Lucaccioni, the ECJ ruled that there was no requirement to examine the elements of a 288 claim in any particular order.

In the General Court, the Eighth Chamber ruled in two Belgian state aid cases, Centre de coordination Carrefour andForum 187. In both cases, the action was declared inadmissible for lack of interest in fact.

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