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LAW OF THE EU. WEEK 7 GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY LAW. General Principles of EU Law. Can be referred as “the unwritten” law of the EU Developed by the European Court of Justice Reasons for their importance: Aid to interpretation of laws Invoke to annul the acts of institutions

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Law of the eu




General principles of eu law
General Principles of EU Law

  • Can be referred as “the unwritten” law of the EU

  • Developed by the European Court of Justice

  • Reasons for their importance:

  • Aid to interpretation of laws

  • Invoke to annul the acts of institutions

  • They become part of the domestic law.

1 fundamental human rights
1. Fundamental Human Rights

  • Fundamental rights as a general principle of law was accepted by the Court in 1969.- Stauder v. City of Ulm

  • Community human rights are inspired by the constitutional traditions common to the member states- Internationale Handelsgesellschaft (1970)

  • International treaties for protection of human rights are also sources for the Court- Nold v. Commission (1973)

Fundamental human rights
Fundamental Human Rights

  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) is a source for the Court

  • On 28 September 2000, EU prepared the Draft Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

2 procedural rights
2. Procedural Rights

  • A) The Right to a Hearing: The right of both parties to present their cases

  • B) Confidentiality or legal Privilege:The right of access of one party to the documentation on which the case against it is based. Exception: The information between the lawyer and the client.

2 procedural rights continued
2. Procedural Rights continued

  • C) Certainty: Legitimate Expectation: Application of the law to a specific situation must be predictable.

  • D) Certainty: Non-Retroactivity: A law takes effect after its publication.

  • E) Proportionality: The punishment must fit the crime. Appropriate measures should be applied to achieve the aims.

  • F) Equality: Non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality, sex. Similar situations must not be treated differently.

3 subsidiarity
3. Subsidiarity

  • Decisions must be taken as closely as possible to the citizens affected by them. The EU will take a decision if:

  • I) the end cannot be achieved satisfactorily at the national level

  • II) can be better achieved at Community level.

4 remedies
4. Remedies

In case of breach of their Community law

rights, individuals may obtain remedy

from their governments in national


The legal basis of the responsibility of state is in Article 5 which is known as the Community loyalty

National courts shall decide on the remedy-National procedural autonomy


  • 3 conditions for the application of national remedies

  • i) No less favorable than domestic remedies

  • ii) national rules must not affect the Community rights

  • iii) penalties must be proportionate with the breach


  • 1. Interim Relief: temporary decision given by the court to stop the implementation of a particular law. Conditions shall be determined by national law but the court suggests certain conditions:

  • A) serious doubts exist for the validity of the measure

  • B) extreme urgency

  • C) to avoid serious and irreparable damages


  • 2. Damages: Compensation paid to the individuals shall be determined by national law but must be effective and real and must be adequate in relation to the damage sustained.

  • 3. Limitation Periods: Individuals should bring the matter before national courts within a period of time. If they miss those periods they lose the chance to demand remedies.