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1 Reflections on the General Principles of Community Law

  • Gil Carlos Rodriguez Iglesias



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1 Fitzmaurice, G.The General Principles of International Law considered from the standpoint of the Rule of Law11 (1997) Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of international Law 1, 7 .

2 The Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties 1155 UNTS 331; (1969) 8 ILM 679.

3 See for example case C–324/93 Evans Medical Ltd and Macfarlan Smith Ltd [1995] ECR I–563.

4 I very much hope that 1 will not see the day when this analysis is confirmed. See further Berman, F.Community Law and International Law: How Far Does Either Belong to the OtherThe Clifford Chance Lectures (given at the Institute of Anglo-American Law, University of Leiden) (OUP, 1996) vol. 01, 249 .

5 See for example Mackenzie-Stuart, LordThe ‘Non-contractual’ Liability of the European Economic Community12 (1975) CMLRev. 493512 .

6 Joined cases C–46/93 and C–48/93 Brasserie du Pêcheur, Factortame III [1996] ECR I–1029, para. 34.

7 Case 26/62 Van Gend en Loos [1963] ECR 3.

8 Article 220 (Article 164) of the EC Treaty.

9 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 UNTS vol. 213 p. 221.

10 Quoted in the Preface to Brealey, H. and Hoskins, M. Remedies in EC Law (Longman, 1994).

11 Case C–199/82 San Giorgio [1983] ECR 3595.

12 Case 222/84 Johnston v. Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [1986] ECR 1651.

13 Article 53(2) of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (SI 1976 No 1042 (NI 15)).

14 Above n 12 at para. 18.

15 Case C–213/89 Factortame I [1991] ECR 1–3905.

16 Case C–208/90 Emmott [1991] ECR I–4269.

17 Case 338/91 Steenhorst-Neerings [1993] ECR I–5475.

18 Case C–410/92 Elsie Rita Johnson [1994] ECR I–5483.

19 Case C–312/93 Peterbroeck [1995] ECR I–4599.

20 Case C–430/93 Van Schijndel [1995] ECR I–4705.

21 Above n 19 at para. 14.

22 See for example Curtin, D.Directives: The Effectiveness of Judicial Protection of Individual Rights27 (1990) CMLRev. 709, 737.

23 Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, above n 5 at 493–495.

24 Joined cases C–A6/93 and C–48/93 Brasserie du Pêcheur, Factortame III [1996] ECR I–1029.

25 Case C-6/90 Francovich [1991] ECR I-5357.

26 Case 26/62 Van Gend en Loos [1964] ECR 1.

27 Case 6/64 Costa v. ENEL [1964] ECR 585.

28 Case 106/77 Simmenthal [1978] ECR 629.

29 Case C–6/90 Francovich [1991] ECR I–5357, para. 35.

30 Joined cases C–46/93 and C–48/93 Brasserie du Pêcheur, Factortame III [1996] ECR I–1029.

31 Case C–302/94 British Telecommunications [1996] ECR I–1631.

32 Case C–5/94 Hedley Lomas [1996] ECR I–2553.

33 Case C–178/94 Dillenkofer [1996] ECR I–4845.

34 For further discussion see Craig, P.Once More unto the Breach: The Community, the State and Damages Liability113 (1997) LQR ; van Gerven, W.Bridging the unbridgeable: Community and National Tort Laws after Francovich and Brasserie45 (1996) ICLQ 507 .

35 Brunner and others v. The European Onion Treaty [1994] 1 CMLR 57, para. 99.

36 Opinion 2/94 “Accession by the Community to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” [1996] ECR I–1759.

37 Ibid., at paras. 29 and 30.

38 For further discussion see Jowell, J.Is Proportionality an Alien Concept?” [1996] European Public Law 401 ; De Búrca, G.The Principle of Proportionality and its Application in EC Law13 (1993) YBEL 105 .

39 Mackenzie-Stuart, LordProblems of the European Community Transatlantic Parallels36 (1987) ICLQ 183, 191.

40 Mackenzie-Stuart, LordSubsidiarity – A Busted Flush” in Constitutional Adjudication in European Community and National Law; Essays for O’Higgins, T.F., Curtin, and O’Keefe, (eds.) (Dudlin, Round Hall 1992) 19, 21.

41 Ibid., at 24.

42 Case C–415/93 Bosman [1995] ECR I–4921; Case C–84/94 United Kingdom v. Council (working time) [1996] ECR I-5755.

43 See for example cases 136/79 National Panasonic v. Commission [1980] ECR 2033; 46/87 Hoechst v. Commission [1989] ECR 2859; 374/87 Orkem v. Commission [1989] ECR 3283; C–340/89 Vlassopoulou v. Ministerium für Justiz [1991] ECR I–2357; C–60/92 Otto v. Postbank [1993] ECR I–5683; C–404/92 X v. Commission [1994] ECR I–4737; C–177/94 Procédure penale v. Perfili [1996] ECR I–161.

44 Case 155/79 AM & S Europe v. Commission [1982] ECR 1575.

45 SirGoldsmith, JamesThe European Court of Justice is a political court with a political agenda. Its rulings, time and again, are based on principles that the Court simply creates and which have no legal basis in the Treaties themselvesSleepwalking into the European Superstate, pamphlet published by the Referendum Party (1996), 5 .

46 Lord Mackenzie-Stuart “The European Communities and the Rule of Law”, Chapter 2 in “The Court of Justice and the Judicial Process – The Sources of Community law” The Hamlyn Lectures 29th Series, p.12 “there are those unwritten rules which stem rather from the nature of the judicial function itself, from the concept of good administration or from the particular character of Community law”.

47 James Dalrymple, first Viscount Stair, Institutions of the Law of Scotland first published in 1681, second authoritative edition in 1693, current edition edited by Walker, D.M. (1981).

* President of the European Court of Justice. This contribution is a transcript of the inaugural Mackenzie-Stuart Lecture, delivered on 10 February 1997 for the Centre for European Legal Studies (CELS) in the Cambridge Law Faculty. Elizabeth Willocks, Legal Secretary to the President, assisted in the preparation of this lecture.


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