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-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-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

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