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-537/16, Garlsson Real Estate – ne bis in idem

Seemingly irrespective of whether Italy’s criminal courts convict or acquit someone of insider share dealing, Italy’s stock exchange regulator will also issue a fine using administrative law. Is this not contrary to the legal principle of ‘ne bis in idem’? More

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-470/16, North East Pylon Pressure Campaign – piling on the environmental information pressure

If there is an EU-authorised construction project that requires an ‘environmental impact statement’ for the purposes of the EU’s Directive 97/11/EC, but the environmental information which underpins that statement is then suddenly changed; then when can people go to their local judge and ask him to review this matter of EU environmental law? Must they wait for a planning body to issue a final decision before they can go to a judge? And what should be done in Ireland? People there have already gone to their local judge before the final decision and have asked for an injunction to stop a planning enquiry. The State owned energy company says that this is a frivolous legal action because of course the Irish court must wait for the Irish body to make a determination; consequently, the company wants its litigation costs paid for by the claimant. And while Irish law does allow costs to be awarded in the event of a claim being frivolous, is that Irish exception (and others in Irish costs law) compatible with the principle in the EU Directive and Aarhus Convention that each side bears its own costs? And what should an Irish judge do when another part of the Irish legislation seems to reflect another Aarhus Convention obligation but it is even narrower in scope than the Convention? More