Case C-414/16, Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung – bigotry seeks law’s blessing

Imagine if the gist of a job advert was: ‘Temporary assistant wanted for our church anti-race discrimination project! Only Christians devoted to our mission need apply’. Such a bigoted advert would discriminate on grounds of religion directly against non-Christians, and indirectly against Christians unable to accept that particular church’s mission but would the advert be illegal for the purposes of EU law? More

Case C-229/16, Ministério da Saúde – not just any old debtor but a public health debtor

There is a rule in the EU’s ‘late payment’ Directive 2000/35 that an invoice should be paid within 30 days. The question is: does the Directive apply to the Portuguese Ministry of Health in respect of the money it owes to the people who run Portugal’s pharmacies? More

Case C-510/16, Carrefour Hypermarchés – at the cross roads between tax and state aid

A decade ago, French supermarket chains sold and even rented videos to their customers. Although the supermarkets paid a tax on every transaction, they now want their money back. They claim that the charge was not a tax but was part of a mechanism for financing an illegal state aid to the French film industry. More

Case C-567/16, Merck Sharp – SPC Lazarus law

Drug companies can increase their profits by extending the life of their patents. In the EU, extensions can be granted with an ‘SPC’. However, these need to be applied for and their award is governed by the rules laid down in the EU’s ‘SPC’ Regulation 469/2009. In this case, a drug company applied for an SPC but it failed to provide a required document, and instead enclosed a different piece of paper. Does the omission kill the application? And if so, then is the application really dead? Can it be reanimated by dint of the fact that when the company had made its application the document did not exist but the company had offered to supply it at some point in the future? More

Case C-426/16, Liga van Moskeeën – ritual killing

Belgian Muslims ritually kill sheep and lambs for the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice. Ritual suggests that these animals be slaughtered without anaesthetic or first being stunned. This contradicts general Belgian and EU animal welfare law. However, Belgian law has an exception for a ritual killing. A ritual killing will be allowed if it happens in State-recognised slaughterhouses. The problem is that in Flanders these cannot cope with the demand. Consequently, temporary slaughterhouses are being used, and extra costs are being incurred by Flemish Muslims and mosques. Therefore, the legal question is whether this situation is compatible with legal obligations to protect freedom of religion. More