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-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

Case C-293/16, Sharda Europe – Deadline missed? Schade!

The problem in this case is twofold. First, what is to be done where EU legislation sets a deadline but the language versions of the legislation are said to diverge? Second, even if the EU legislation sets a date, then can its legal effect still be interpreted away with the aid of national procedural law? More

Case C-289/16, Kamin und Grill Shop – an internet mail-order ‘direct sale’ barbecues consumer protection

Specialising in all-things-barbecue, the ‘Kamin und Grill Shop’ even sells a range of organic spice mixes. However, these have not been subject to a regulated ‘control system’ as required by the EU’s ‘organic produce’ Regulation 834/2007. Kamin und Grill deny infringing the Regulation because their business is done through their website, and the Regulation has an exception for ‘direct sales’. The unsavoury dilemma for the CJEU’s judges is this: if the aims of the Regulation are guaranteeing fair competition, ensuring consumer confidence and protecting consumer interests, then why is it legally right for an internet mail-order company to escape the wrath of the Regulation? More