Case C-594/16, Buccioni – Dear Central Bank, Documents please. Regards, Mr E. Swindled

It is a mystery why banks fail: banks are regulated by a state’s central bank. In this case, a saver lost a lot of money in the 2012 Italian banking crash. Initial research suggested the central bank might indeed have done something wrong. Consequently, the saver asked it for specific documents so that he could calculate his legal position and assert his rights. His request was refused. The legal question is: was the central bank legally right to refuse his request? If so, the state could swindle the saver out of his money and his legal rights. 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-528/16, Confédération paysanne – against new herbicide-resistant plants

American fields are being planted with seeds that have benefited from new techniques of genetic engineering like gene editing. These new seeds have been modified to produce plants that will even survive being sprayed with lethal herbicides. However, French environmental groups anticipate that these new seeds will be soon imported into the EU. They fear that the EU rules on genetically modified organisms in Directive 2001/18/EC are just not able to regulate these new seeds properly. The French courts simply wonder if the EU rules contravene the EU’s ‘precautionary principle’ enshrined in Article 191(2) TFEU. More

Case C-358/16, UBS – stopping a lawyer accessing innocence-establishing documents

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is home to a lucrative trade in investment banking and investment companies. Policing that market is Luxembourg’s financial regulator, the CSSF. It has stopped a lawyer from working as a company director. He is challenging the correctness of the regulator’s decision. As part of preparing his legal action, he wants to see certain documents held by the regulator. However, the regulator is refusing to disclose any documents. Furthermore, the regulator’s position is reinforced by a bank that has already been censured by the regulator in precisely the same matter. Therefore, the legal issue in this case is the degree to which the alleged confidentiality of the documents prevails over the individual lawyer’s EU Charter rights. More

Case C-434/16, Nowak – seeking to access his exam script because it is personal data

Is a candidate’s exam script ‘personal data’ about him? If so, then does he have the right to access a copy of his script under the EU’s ‘data processing’ Directive 95/46/EC? More