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EU | Practical Application

Doctrine: Indirect Effect

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Doctrine: Indirect Effect

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  • Von Colson principle: Article 4 TEU requires Member States to take all measures to ensure Community obligations / all authorities including Courts
  • EU law not applied directly / indirectly through interpretation of domestic legislation
  • indirect effect not apply: if no relevant national law / or criminal liability (Luciano)
  • Von Colson principles depends courts willingness to interpret so compliant with EU law

UK approach

  • ECA 1972 S2(4): applies to directly effective EU law only / argument Von Colson cannot apply
  • Duke v GEC Reliance: unable construe Sex Discrimination Act 1975 with Equal Treatment Directive / reasons: unfair to GEC / no vertical direct effect (private company) / language Directive opaque

Implementing legislation

  • Pickstone v Freeman: purposive approach / comply with EU Directive
  • Litster v Forth Dry Docks: legislation designed to give effect to UK's treaty obligations to the Community / reflects Article 4 TEU / purposive approach used

Non-implementing legislation

  • ECJ: should as far as possible take purposive approach / extends Von Colson principle (Marleasing)
  • Webb v EMO Air Cargo: HoL post Marleasing / as far as possible means sometimes not possible / not if purposive approach creates distortion of national law
  • Wagner Miret: ECJ accepted purposive approach not taken by national court
bits of law
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