The Queen v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte: Factortame Ltd and others.

JurisdictionEuropean Union
CourtCourt of Justice (European Union)
Writing for the CourtKakouris
ECLIECLI:EU:C:1990:257
Docket NumberC-213/89
Date19 June 1990
Celex Number61989CJ0213
Procedure TypeReference for a preliminary ruling
EUR-Lex - 61989J0213 - EN

Judgment of the Court of 19 June 1990. - The Queen v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte: Factortame Ltd and others. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: House of Lords - United Kingdom. - Rights derived from provisions of Community law - Protection by national courts - Power of national courts to grant interim relief when a reference is made for a preliminary ruling. - Case C-213/89.

European Court reports 1990 Page I-02433
Swedish special edition Page 00435
Finnish special edition Page 00453


Summary
Parties
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords

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Community law - Direct effect - Primacy - Proceedings brought before a national court in order to penalize an infringement of Community law attributable to a provision of national law - Infringement not yet established - Application for interim relief - Existence of a national rule prohibiting that application from being granted - Duties and powers of the court seised

( EEC Treaty, Arts 5 and 177 )

Summary

It is for the national courts, in application of the principle of cooperation laid down in Article 5 of the EEC Treaty, to ensure the legal protection which persons derive from the direct effect of provisions of Community law .

Any provision of a national legal system and any legislative, administrative or judicial practice which might impair the effectiveness of Community law by withholding from the national court having jurisdiction to apply such law the power to do everything necessary at the moment of its application to set aside national legislative provisions which might prevent, even temporarily, Community rules from having full force and effect are incompatible with the requirements inherent in the very nature of Community law .

The full effectiveness of Community law would be just as much impaired if a rule of national law could prevent a court seised of a dispute governed by Community law from granting interim relief in order to ensure the full effectiveness of the judgment to be given on the existence of the rights claimed under Community law . It follows that a court which in those circumstances would grant interim relief, if it were not for a rule of national law, is obliged to set aside that rule .

That interpretation is reinforced by the system established by Article 177 of the EEC Treaty whose effectiveness would be impaired if a national court, having stayed proceedings pending the reply by the Court of Justice to the question referred to it for a preliminary ruling, were not able to grant interim relief until it delivered its judgment following the reply given by the Court of Justice .

Parties

In Case C-213/89

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the House of Lords for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court in the case of

The Queen

v

Secretary of State for Transport,

ex parte : Factortame Ltd and Others,

on the interpretation of Community law with regard to the extent of the power of national courts to grant interim relief where rights claimed under Community law are at issue,

THE COURT

composed of : O . Due, President, Sir Gordon Slynn, C . N . Kakouris, F . A . Schockweiler, M . Zuleeg ( Presidents of Chambers ), G . F . Mancini, R . Joliet, J . C . Moitinho de Almeida, G . C . Rodríguez Iglesias, F . Grévisse and M . Diez de Velasco, Judges,

Advocate General : G . Tesauro

Registrar : H . A . Ruehl, Principal Administrator

after considering the written observations submitted on behalf of

the United Kingdom, by T . J . G . Pratt, Principal Assistant Treasury Solicitor, acting as Agent, assisted by Sir Nicholas Lyell, QC, Solicitor-General, Mr Christopher Bellamy, QC, and Mr Christopher Vajda, barrister,

Ireland, by Louis J . Dockery, Chief State Solicitor, acting as Agent, assisted by James O' Reilly, SC,

Factortame Ltd and Others, by David Vaughan QC, Gerald Barling, barrister, David Anderson, barrister, and Stephen Swabey, solicitor, of Thomas Cooper & Stibbard,

the Commission, by Mr Goetz zur Hausen, Legal Adviser, and Peter Oliver, a member of its Legal Department, acting as Agents,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing the oral argument presented at the hearing on 5 April 1990 by the United Kingdom, Factortame Ltd and Others, Rawlings ( Trawling ) Ltd ., the latter represented by N . Forwood, QC, and by the Commission,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General delivered at the sitting on 17 May 1990,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds

1 By a judgment of 18 May 1989, which was received at the Court on 10 July 1989, the House of Lords referred to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty two questions on the interpretation of Community law . Those questions concern the extent of the power of national courts to grant interim relief where rights claimed under Community law are at issue .

2 The questions were raised in proceedings brought against the Secretary of State for Transport by Factortame Ltd and other companies incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom, and also the directors and shareholders of those companies, most of whom are Spanish nationals ( hereinafter together referred to as the "appellants in the main proceedings ").

3 The companies in question are the owners or operators of 95 fishing vessels which were registered in the register of British vessels under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 . Of those vessels, 53 were originally registered in Spain and flew the Spanish flag, but on various dates as from 1980 they were registered in the British register . The remaining 42 vessels have always been registered in the United Kingdom, but were purchased by the companies in question on various dates, mainly since 1983 .

4 The statutory system governing the registration of British fishing vessels was radically altered by Part II of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 and the Merchant Shipping ( Registration of Fishing Vessels ) Regulations 1988 ( SI 1988, No 1926 ). It is common ground that the United Kingdom amended the previous legislation in order to put a stop to the practice known as "quota hopping" whereby, according to the United Kingdom, its fishing quotas are "plundered" by vessels flying the British flag but lacking any genuine link with the United Kingdom .

5 The 1988 Act provided for the establishment of a new register in which henceforth all British fishing vessels were to be registered, including those which were already...

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89 practice notes
  • Heemskerk BV and Firma Schaap v Productschap Vee en Vlees.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 6 May 2008
    ...45 – Paragraph 32. 46 – See in particular, to that effect, the judgments in Case 106/77 Simmenthal [1978] ECR 629, paragraph 22, and Case C-213/89 Factortame and Others [1990] ECR I‑2433, paragraph 20. 47 – OJ 1999 L 160, p. 103. Regulation repealed and replaced by Council Regulation (EC) N......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe delivered on 14 November 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 November 2019
    ...Urteil vom 24. Juni 2019, Popławski (C‑573/17, EU:C:2019:530, Rn. 58 und 61). 28 Urteile vom 19. Juni 1990, Factortame u. a. (C‑213/89, EU:C:1990:257, Rn. 23), vom 20. September 2001, Courage und Crehan (C‑453/99, EU:C:2001:465, Rn. 26 und Rn. 36, zweiter Gedankenstrich), vom 21. November 2......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston delivered on 31 October 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 31 October 2019
    ...for preliminary rulings to this Court that that litigation spawned were judgments of 19 June 1990, Factortame and Others, C‑213/89, EU:C:1990:257 (the interim relief issue); of 25 July 1991, Factortame and Others, C‑221/89, EU:C:1991:320 (the substantive case); and of 5 March 1996, Brasseri......
  • Criminal proceedings against Silvio Berlusconi (C-387/02), Sergio Adelchi (C-391/02) and Marcello Dell'Utri and Others (C-403/02).
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 October 2004
    ...in Case 6/64 Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR 585, at 593. 108 – Case 106/77 [1978] ECR 629, paragraphs 21 to 23. See also the judgments in Case C-213/89 Factortame [1990] ECR I-2433, paragraph 20, and Joined Cases C-6/90 and C-9/90 Francovich and Others [1991] ECR I-5357, paragraph 32. 109 – Judgme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
85 cases
  • Heemskerk BV and Firma Schaap v Productschap Vee en Vlees.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 6 May 2008
    ...45 – Paragraph 32. 46 – See in particular, to that effect, the judgments in Case 106/77 Simmenthal [1978] ECR 629, paragraph 22, and Case C-213/89 Factortame and Others [1990] ECR I‑2433, paragraph 20. 47 – OJ 1999 L 160, p. 103. Regulation repealed and replaced by Council Regulation (EC) N......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe delivered on 14 November 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 November 2019
    ...Urteil vom 24. Juni 2019, Popławski (C‑573/17, EU:C:2019:530, Rn. 58 und 61). 28 Urteile vom 19. Juni 1990, Factortame u. a. (C‑213/89, EU:C:1990:257, Rn. 23), vom 20. September 2001, Courage und Crehan (C‑453/99, EU:C:2001:465, Rn. 26 und Rn. 36, zweiter Gedankenstrich), vom 21. November 2......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston delivered on 31 October 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 31 October 2019
    ...for preliminary rulings to this Court that that litigation spawned were judgments of 19 June 1990, Factortame and Others, C‑213/89, EU:C:1990:257 (the interim relief issue); of 25 July 1991, Factortame and Others, C‑221/89, EU:C:1991:320 (the substantive case); and of 5 March 1996, Brasseri......
  • Criminal proceedings against Silvio Berlusconi (C-387/02), Sergio Adelchi (C-391/02) and Marcello Dell'Utri and Others (C-403/02).
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 October 2004
    ...in Case 6/64 Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR 585, at 593. 108 – Case 106/77 [1978] ECR 629, paragraphs 21 to 23. See also the judgments in Case C-213/89 Factortame [1990] ECR I-2433, paragraph 20, and Joined Cases C-6/90 and C-9/90 Francovich and Others [1991] ECR I-5357, paragraph 32. 109 – Judgme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • The Horizontal Effect of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU: Rediscovering the Reasons for Horizontality
    • European Union
    • European Law Journal Nbr. 21-5, September 2015
    • 1 September 2015
    ...Rights throughthe Open Method of Coordination’, (2004) NYU Jean Monnet Working Paper 07/04, 16, 19–21.59 Marleasing,n51supra, para 8; Case C-213/89, The Queen v. Secretary of State for Transport, Ex ParteFactortame Limited and Others [1990] ECR I-2433, para 19.60 T. Tridimas, ‘Horizontal Di......
  • Levels of Generality in the Legal Reasoning of the European Court of Justice
    • European Union
    • European Law Journal Nbr. 14-6, November 2008
    • 1 November 2008
    ...Finanze dello Stato v Hauptzollamt Kiel [1981] ECR 1805 (para 16, concerningthe role of national courts to protect human rights) and Case C-213/89, Factortame [1990] ECR I-2433(para 19, similarly).90 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were the original six memb......
  • Table of cases
    • European Union
    • The ABC of Community Law
    • 1 January 2000
    ...Simmenthal (1978) ECR 629 (Community law; direct applicability, primacy). Case 826/79 Mireco (1980) ECR 2559 (primacy of Community law). Case C-213/89 Factortame (1990) ECR I- 2466 (direct applicability; primacy of Community Joined Cases C-6 Francovich and 9/90 Bonifaci (1991) ECR I-5403 (e......
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