Case C-569/16, Bauer – an heir’s accrued leave rights post-Bollacke but contra legem

After the CJEU’s labour law Bollacke judgment, if a worker had accrued paid annual leave but had died before taking it, then it looked like the heir to his estate could claim a cash equivalent from the employer. Yet the effect of this new EU labour law right seems to be drained by old German inheritance law. Thus, what is a German labour law judge to do? Applying the EU’s ‘working time’ Directive 2003/88/EC or Article 31(2) of the EU Charter would clearly be contra legem so there is no obligation on the national court to give effect to it. However, if EU labour law prevails, then does it matter that the employer was a public body (Case C-569/16) or a private company (Case C-570/16)? More

Case C-644/16, Synthon – resisting its impounded documents being inspected by a rival

How can you prove your case when the other party has in its possession the evidence you need? Perhaps you will need to instigate a search-and-seize raid on the other party? In this case, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm did just that. It organised Dutch court bailiffs to raid a Dutch firm suspected of making patent-infringing drugs. However, once the materials had been seized, the Japanese firm then asked the Dutch court for access to inspect them. This stumped the Dutch judges. What rules and standards should they apply to determine that request in light of the ‘evidence’ rule in Article 6 of the EU’s ‘enforcement’ Directive 2004/48? More

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-451/16, MB – trans pension discrimination

Under old UK law, a married trans person who after surgery refused to have their marriage annulled would not be granted a certificate which, inter alia, would entitle them to a pension at the age of their acquired legal gender. Is that legal situation compatible with the ban on discrimination in the EU’s ‘equal treatment in social security’ Directive 79/7? More