Právne Noviny vám v spolupráci so Súdnym dvorom Európskej únie prinášajú priebežný súhrn konaní a rozhodnutí Súdneho dvora EÚ.
Court of Justice
Thursday 4th April
Judgment in Case C-501/17 Germanwings
Responsibility of airline carrier for delay resulting from damage to an aircraft tyre caused by a screw lying on the runway
There will be a press release for this judgment
A flight operated by Germanwings between Dublin and Düsseldorf arrived in its destination with a delay of more than three hours, for which now a passenger requests the airline to pay compensation by virtue of the EU Airline Passenger Rights Regulation (261/2004/EC). The delay was caused by a screw found in one of the aircraft’s tyres, which therefore needed to be replaced. The screw must have damaged the tyre either during the take-off or the landing in the course of the aircraft’s last journey.
Germanwings refuses to pay compensation claiming that in the case at hand arose an extraordinary circumstance falling outside its control, for which it cannot be held liable under the regulation. The airline stresses that the cleaning of runways forms part of an airport’s rather than an air carrier’s ordinary operational activity and that, therefore, this latter cannot be held responsible for a failure to properly perform this work.
The German court hearing the matter has asked the Court of Justice if the airline has to pay compensation in the present case.
Monday 8th April (2.30 pm)
Hearing in Case C-192/18 Commission v Poland
Lowering of retirement age for Polish judges and prosecutors
Besides the ongoing infringement proceedings against Poland regarding the lowering of retirement age for the judges of the Polish Supreme Court and, in this context, the independence of that latter Court (in which the Advocate’s General Opinion will be delivered on 11 April, see below), a second infringement case is also in progress against Warsaw with a similar subject-matter.
In the today’s case, the Commission has called into question, for two reasons, the legality of national rules governing the organisation of the judiciary in Poland, the adoption of which preceded the introduction of national legislation specifically relating to the Supreme Court and being under scrutiny in the aforementioned infringement proceedings.
First, the Commission is of the view that the distinction in the contested national rules between the retirement age for men (65 years) and women (60 years) working as ordinary judges, Supreme Court judges and prosecutors is not compatible with the Equal Treatment Directive (2006/54/EC).
Second, the Commission affirms that, by lowering the retirement age applicable to ordinary court judges, and at the same time granting the Minister for Justice the right to decide whether to extend the period of active service of judges wishing to continue working as a judge despite reaching the retirement age, Poland has breached its obligation to ensure the citizens’ effective judicial protection within the scope of application of EU law.
Tuesday 9th April
Hearing in Case C-363/18 Organisation juive européenne & Vignoble Psagot
Labelling of the origin of products stemming from the Israeli-occupied territories
The French Council of State asks the Court of Justice if the Food Labelling Regulation (1169/2011/EU), where indication of the origin of a product falling within the scope of that regulation is mandatory, requires, for a product from a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, indication of that territory and an indication that the product comes from an Israeli settlement if that is the case.
Should this question be answered in the negative. the French Court would also like to know whether the regulation makes it possible for the Member States to require, on their own motion, those indications.
Thursday 11th April
Opinion in Case C-619/18 Commission v Poland
Lowering of retirement age for Supreme Court judges in Poland
There will be a press release for this Opinion
On 3 April 2018 entered into force a new Polish law on the Supreme Court, by which the obligatory retirement age for the judges of the Supreme Court was lowered to 65 years.
The Commission then launched against Poland infringement proceedings before the Court of Justice as it is of the opinion that, by lowering the retirement age in question, Poland had breached the right of EU citizens to effective legal protection enshrined in the EU Treaty and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In its action, the Commission also asked the Court to suspend the application of the disputed law until the judgment in the infringement case has been brought.
At the request of the Commission, the Court, by order of 17 December 2018, ordered Poland to immediately suspend (until the closing of the case at hand) the application of the provisions of national legislation relating to the lowering of the retirement age for Supreme Court judges.
Thursday 11th April
Opinion in Case C-482/17 Czech Republic v Parliament & Council
Validity of the Directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons
There will be a summary for this Opinion
In May 2017, the European Parliament and the Council (by way of adopting the Directive 217/853/EU) modified the Directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons (91/477/EEC), which lead to the prohibition of certain semi-automatic weapons and the matching magazines as well as to the introduction of more stringent rules in respect of deactivated and alarm weapons.
The Czech Republic is contesting before the Court of Justice the validity of the modifying directive, which, according to this Member State, should not have been adopted as a measure aiming at eliminating obstacles to the internal market since the new rules introduced do not pursue this objective but solely aim to prevent crime and terrorism. In addition, the Czech Republic alleges that the EU legislator breached the principle of proportionality, in particular, insomuch as it prohibited semi-automatic weapons which had never been used in the EU for committing terrorist acts.
Thursday 11th April
Opinion in Case C-208/18 Petruchová
Can a private person trading on the FOREX market via an online platform be regarded as a consumer?
There will be a summary for the Opinion
A Czech private person made transactions on the FOREX market (the international currency exchange market) via the trading platform of a Cyprus-based brokerage firm, which undertook to carry out the trade orders placed by the client. According to the trade agreement entered into by the parties, any dispute arising between the parties is to be settled before the Cypriot Courts.
In October 2014, speculating on the rise of USD against JPY, the Czech citizen concerned generated profits on her trade account but alleges to have failed to generate more gains as a result of a delay of 16 seconds between the time of the placing of her order and that of the actual execution of the trade by the online platform of the brokerage firm. Whilst the latter claims that the delay was due to the saturation of its trading platform by reason of an unusual rise in the number of transactions to be executed, its client has brought an action before the Czech Courts asserting that the brokerage firm should make good for the profits she failed to achieve because of the aforementioned delay in the execution of her order.
Although the trade agreement designates the Cypriot Courts as being competent to deal with such disputes, the Czech citizen is of the opinion that, under the Brussels I Recast Regulation (1215/2012/EU), which governs the determination of jurisdiction in the EU in civil and commercial matters, she, as a consumer party to that agreement, is also entitled to initiate court proceedings in connection with the matter at issue in her country of domicile, namely the Czech Republic. In fact, the Regulation makes it possible for the consumer to bring proceedings in the courts for the place where the consumer is domiciled.
The Nejvyšší soud dealing with the matter has asked the Court of Justice if a private person trading on the FOREX market via an online platform can be regarded as a consumer within the meaning of the Regulation.
An appeal may be brought before the Court of Justice against the decisions of the General Court
Tuesday 9th April (2 pm)
Hearing in Case T-391/17 Romania v Commission
European citizens’ initiative to protect national and linguistic minorities
On 15 July 2013, a citizens’ committee submitted to the Commission the proposed European citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe’. This initiative called on the EU to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and to strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the EU.
By a decision of 13 September 2013, the Commission refused to register that proposal on the ground that it manifestly fell outside the powers which enabled the Commission to submit a proposal for the adoption of an EU legal act for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.
The organisers of the European citizens’ initiative subsequently challenged the Commission’s decision before the General Court, which, by judgment of 3 February 2017, annulled that decision on the ground that the Commission had failed to comply with its obligation to state reasons in support of its conclusion.
Following the General Court’s ruling, the Commission registered the European citizens’ initiative in question, by which it made it possible for the organisers of the initiative to start collecting the one million signatures necessary for the initiative to be successful (should the initiative prove to be successful, the Commission would be invited to consider whether appropriate measures should be adopted by the EU in order to address the matters forming part of the initiative).
This was however not the end of the story, as Romania has challenged the Commission’s decision on the registration of the initiative before the General Court.
It is worth noting that the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in a similar case just some weeks ago.