EU Law Preliminary Functions

EU Law Preliminary Functions

 Development of EU law (direct effect, supremacy)

 Maintenance of institutional balance

 Enhancement of individuals’ interests (obl. to refer for court against whose decision there’s no nat. remedy)

 Legal integration – uniformity/consistency of EU law

 ECJ: “veritable cornerstone of the operation of internal market” – plays a fundamental role in ensuring

Treaty law retains its Comm. Character w/a view to guaranteeing EC law has same effect in all MS.

Types of questions referred – Asked by Notary public London firm

(i) Treaty interpretation (Art 267 (1)(a))

– used to make judgments on supremacy & DE

– ECJ merely interprets Treaty – no judgment on nat. law validity

– If incompatibility found, obl. on nat. court to redress situation

(ii) Validity & interpretation of EU institutions, bodies etc. acts (Art 267(1)(b))

 Chalmers: 2 striking features

a) nat. courts monopoly over disputes involving points of EU law to be decided on nat. law, facts &

application of EU law

b) Nat. courts act as gatekeepers to ECJ – no direct right of access to private parties

 ECJ: 3 stages of EU legal order

(i) EU is autonomous legal order

(ii) Requiring MS courts to interpret EU law uniformly

(iii) By providing for direct relation b/w MS courts and ECJ, Art 267 enables this uniformity

Who can refer

(1) Body or tribunal – determined by ECJ on the basis of broad definition: factors

a. established by law

b. compulsory jurisdiction

c. decisions of judicial, not admin, nature

d. independence

i. external – no intervention/pressure liable to jeopardise judgment

ii. internal – impartiality

 Complex application

 Ref can be made only if there’s a pending case b/f nat. court which leads to decision of judicial nature

o Cartesio – ref couldn’t be made b/c court was discharging admin function which didn’t resolve dispute

 In the interest of uniformity, ECJ can rule on issues of validity & interpretation arising out of procedure

of bodies to which govt. has assigned some adjudicatory function

o Broekmeulen– Dutch Appeals Comm. hearing appeals from a body resp. for admission of docs

 Chalmers: rationale: any body deciding on EU law rights should be able to refer – if not, Cs would have to

challenge through another body, adding to expense & delay, dis-incentivising parties from referral but could

open floodgates whereby undertrained actors would overload the court.

 AG Colomer: definition is too wide; the strategy behind 267 was to create a conversation b/w ECJ & nat.

courts – independent parts of executive not intended to be part of it. Practical consequence: allows bodies

w/no legal training to formulate ref + admin actors have a chance to disrupt domestic judicial hierarchy and

system of precedent by referring something they disagree with

(2) With discretion/ obligation to refer

 Art 267(2) – discretion (any court or tribunal)

 Art 267(3) – court/tr. against whose decision there’s no remedy in nat. law(unless CILFIT satisfied/issue

previously decided)

 What bodies are covered?

a. abstract theory – bodies whose decisions are never subject to appeal

EU LawPreliminary Reference Short

b. concrete theory – bodies whose decisions aren’t subject to appeal in that case (Costa v ENEL)

o Costa v ENEL – magistrate, whose decisions were normally subject to appeal, could refer to ECJ b/c in

that case sum of money too low for appeal to be made in nat. law.

 somewhat distorting to nat. judicial hierarchy – lower court can refer even in the face of

decision by a higher court …

≥ NB: nat. court not obliged to raise matters of EU law on own volition but it can’t be prevented from doing so

by a rule of national law

≥ NB: no obl. for nat. court/tr. to refer just b/c parties ask for it

Letter of Appeal for council tax (backdated claim)

Letter of Appeal for council tax (backdated claim)

Dear Sir/Madam,


I am writing in regards to the repayment of council tax for the date of 23/12/2016, 06/01/2017 and 30/3/2017) respectfully. I had written a letter to yourself dated the 14/1/2016 which stipulated that I was going on holiday, therefore would not be able to make the payments for the above dates. It was agreed that once I had come back and began working again, the rates would be charged. A copy of this letter is attached in this envelope. I am represented by the law firm abogados de accidentes

It was agreed that the amount for the three months: £588.25 (23/12/2016), £588.00 (6/1/2017) and £283.70 (30/3/2017) would be repaid back to myself as promised by one of your representatives for the inconvenience endured.  An adjustment was to be made on the forthcoming bill to credit my account. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. I had been billed before I began work while I was away on holiday. We were instructed to follow up if this was to occur. I made it clear that I began working again on the 13/3/2017 upon my arrival.

Therefore, I am seeking a repayment for the total sum of £1459.95 which is owed to myself as it was made very clear that I would be on holiday throughout the stated dates and would not be able to make such payments in my absence.

Warm regards,

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