Category Archives: Annulment action

Case C-611/12 P and Joined Cases C-12/13 P and C-13/13 P: Damages and no fault liability

Every now and again, the idea pops up that the EU Institutions should be liable in damages for their legislative activities on a no fault basis. The Court of Justice handed down two judgments in October 2014 one of which expressly deals with that issue. The judgments in Case C-611/12 P Giordano v Commission, EU:C:2014:2282, and in Joined Cases C-12/13 P and C-13/13 P Buono and others v Commission, EU:C:2014:2284, are interesting not just for that reason but because they address several issues:

  • Whether the EU institutions could be liable to pay damages because of measures they had adopted that were legal and thus be liable without fault;
  • Whether the fishing ban could result in “actual and certain” harm;
  • Whether a judgment of the Court of Justice constituted a new element of law, and
  • Whether the oral proceedings should be reopened after the Advocate general had delivered his opinion.

Let’s look at each of those aspects of the case in turn. But first, here’s what happened. Continue reading

Case C-331/13 Nicula: Repayment of tax levied

This judgment concerns the payment of a special tax (and its repayment by the Member State concerned) imposed upon the first registration of a motor vehicle in Romania. Initially this tax was introduced as a motor vehicle pollution tax by an order of 2008 (‘the 2008 Order’) and it was later replaced by the environmental stamp duty by an order of 2013 (‘the 2013 Order’) following the judgments in Case C-402/09Tatu (EU:C:2011:219) and Case C-263/10 Nisipeanu (EU:C:2011:466) which found such pollution tax to be contrary to EU law.

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Case T-572/11 Samir Hassan v Council: Amendment of the Application

The General Court’s judgment in Case T-572/11 Samir Hassan v Council EU:T:2014:682 is interesting in a number of respects but I’ll concentrate on just one issue that it deals with: when can an application be amended to take account of amendments or repeals of the act the annulment of which is sought?  Continue reading

Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission: unsubstantiated pleas and length of proceedings

The General Court’s judgment in Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission EU:T:2014:253 (alternative link here) doesn’t really break new ground. But it does remind applicants of a few basic truths. In some ways you can sense the impatience of the Court with applicants who forget them.

First, the Court reminds everyone that if you make a plea, you have to argue it and substantiate it. Mere assertions don’t work.

Second, don’t just complain about the duration of administrative proceedings: show how it affected your rights of the defence.  Continue reading

Joined Cases T-458/10 to T-467/10 and T-471/10 Peter McBride and others v Commission: Need for a legal base, principle of conferral

The judgment of the General Court of 13 May 2014 in Joined Cases T-458/10 to T-467/10 and T-471/10 Peter McBride and others v Commission EU:T:2014:249 illustrates a basic point: the EU institutions need an express legal base in order to adopt a measure. No legal base, no competence. That’s called the principle of conferral. It is laid down in Article 13 (2) TFEU.

By its judgment, the General Court annulled a series of Commission decisions because they lacked a legal base. The case has quite a story….. Continue reading

Case C-43/12 Commission v Parliament and Council: Legal basis, opt out

There were nearly 30 000 deaths caused by road traffic accidents in the EU in 2012 (see table showing the evolution of road fatalities here. That’s a lot.

The Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-43/12 Commission v Parliament and Council EU:C:2014:298 shows that attempts to put in place effective legislation to reduce the number of fatalities are frought with legal difficulties. Continue reading

Case C-231/11 P and C-233/11 P European Commission v Siemens AG Österreich a.o. – Joint and several liability

The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) gave on 10 April 2014 its judgment on appeal in the gas insulated switchgear case C-231/11 P. The dispute concerns a cartel relating to the sale of gas insulated switchgear (“GIS”), a heavy electrical equipment which is used to control energy flow in electricity grids. The case commenced with a leniency application; the Commission then initiated its investigation, which was concluded with the imposition of a fine on several undertakings. Parent undertakings were found jointly and severally liable with their subsidiaries. The Commission decision was challenged before the General Court, which in its judgment in Cases T-122/07 to T-124/07 Siemens AG Österreich a.o v Commission found, inter alia, that the Commission failed to determine the exact amount, i.e. the shares of the fine to by paid by each of the undertakings (both parents and subsidiaries) imposed severally and jointly on them. The General Court even went on to determine itself these shares of the fine to be paid by each undertaking. Its judgment was cross-appealed by the Commission and the undertakings.

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