Case C-683/16, Deutscher Naturschutzring – stop German fishing boats scraping the bottom

Even if Article 3(1)(d) TFEU gives the EU an exclusive competence over the common fisheries policy, then can a Member State still enact laws to stop boats from bottom-trawling by virtue of EU environmental law? 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-194/16, Bolagsupplysningen – objecting to Swedish internet trolls

A Swedish webpage blacklisted a particular person and a company. Since that webpage had a discussion forum, its Swedish readers left negative comments on the website too. Unable to get the Swedish website either to rectify the alleged inaccuracies in its publication or remove the hurtful comments, the blacklisted person went to their local court seeking a court order. However, that court was in Estonia. At first instance, the Estonian court declined jurisdiction to hear the dispute because it thought the harm was in Sweden. Therefore, the legal question in this case is: where is the harm with Swedish internet trolls? More

Case C-78/16, Pesce – against an overly fastidious state combating xylella fastidiosa

Olive trees in southern Italy are being attacked by a disease that is new to the EU. The response of the Italian State has been to require a landowner with an infected tree to destroy it together with all the other plants that are theoretically capable of acting as a host to the disease within a radius of one hundred meters from the infected tree. This means the destruction of healthy plants too. A failure to comply entails fines and clearance by the State. Some Italian landowners are querying whether this scheme is compatible with EU law. They also query whether the EU legislation is itself invalid for being contrary to EU Treaty law. Fundamentally, they object to the fact that they are not being offered compensation for the loss of their trees even though they are not responsible for the spread of the disease. More