Monday, December 03, 2012

Last Week in Luxembourg

It turns out that, under art. 16 of the Statute of the Court, there is such a thing as the Court sitting as a “Full Court”, i.e. with 27 judges instead of the 15 that make up a Grand Chamber. One such case of “exceptional importance” is Pringle v. Ireland, where the Court (Judge Lenaerts) held that we get to keep the simplified amendment of the TFEU in Decision 2011/199 and the ESM. For commentary, cf. Laurens Ankersmit on European Law Blog, Ciara Murphy on European Law Blog, Kenneth Armstrong on Eutopia Law Blog, Maximilian Steinbeis in German on Verfassungsblog, and Marijn van der Sluis on Publiekrecht & Politiek in Dutch.

Speaking of the Grand Chamber, it held (per Judge Rosas) that EPSO is not allowed to carry out an examination for a position that requires a “thorough knowledge of English, French or German” in English, French and German only, because that unfairly discriminates against Italians. As such, the judgement of the General Court is overturned. Italy v. Commission Cf. European Law Blog

AG Trstenjak considered a rather unusual fact pattern for a Regulation 44/2001 case: the Land Berlin paid sums that were too large to a number of people claiming compensation for Third Reich-era forced sales. Does the government’s claim for restitution fall under the Regulation? And to what extent can the Land invoke art. 6(1) of the Regulation in order to sue them all together? And does it matter that some of them live in Israel, i.e. outside the EU? The AG argued that the Regulation applies, and offers some guidance on art. 6(1). Land Berlin v. Sapir et al.

AG Jääskinen also looked at Regulation 44/2001, also with a fun fact pattern: In tort, jurisdiction can be based on the place where the tort was allegedly committed. If the tort consist of different elements committed by different actors in different countries, the courts in each of these countries have jurisdiction. The AG argued that this is still true if the defendant responsible for the element of the country in question is not actually being sued. Melzer v. MF Global UK

AG Kokott discussed the case law on the responsibility of parent companies for infringements of the cartel rules committed by their wholly-owned subsidiaries in Commission v. Stichting Administratiekantoor Portielje. While the Stichting achieved a partial win in the General Court, the AG argued that this was in error.

As I already predicted when I first heard about the case, Bloomberg lost their access to documents case against the ECB concerning certain Bank documents about Greece. Thesing and Bloomberg v. ECB

The General Court upheld the Commission’s cartel decision (FR) in Groupement des cartes bancaires « CB » v. Commission (FR). (There was no fine.)

Finally, the EFTA Court handed down an interesting free movement of goods case in Vín Tríó ehf. v. Iceland. It found no evidence of protectionism, so it held for Iceland. Cf. European Law Blog

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