Case A-2/15, The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement – a mixed agreement?

In October 2014, the EU and Singapore concluded a free trade agreement. However, there is uncertainty surrounding how to classify the legal agreement. That is to say, is it an agreement which the EU has exclusive competence to sign and ratify? Or is it a ‘mixed agreement’ which would mean that the approval of every single parliament in every single Member State is also required before the agreement can be ratified?

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Case C-424/15, Ormaetxea Garai – dismissed so unfairly as to query the independence of regulators

Many of Spain’s national regulators have been merged into one mega regulator. People formerly running those regulators have been made redundant even with retroactive effect. Is retroactive dismissal contrary to the general principles of EU law? And since people have been removed from their jobs prior to the end of their fixed-term contracts, is this not contrary to EU law’s requirement that national regulators be completely independent, as per the EU’s ‘communications networks’ Directive 2002/21/EC?

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Case C-398/15, Manni – data in public registers should be subject to the Google right to be forgotten

Details about Mr Manni were incorporated in a public register. Data in the register was subsequently processed and used for other purposes by a commercial company. The question in this case is whether Mr Manni can require the administrators of the register to respect his right to privacy in accordance with the CJEU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ Google judgment.

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Case C-434/15, Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi – Uber’s new software destroys the old order of labour

Traditionally, people wanting to be driven from A to B could hail a cab on the street. Subsequently, cabs could be hailed by telephoning for one. Now it is possible to use a smartphone to organise an ‘electronic hail’. However, if the smartphone uses Uber’s software, then the car that comes to pick them up will not be a licensed taxi. The question is: can Uber’s new software destroy the old order of labour that governs the life of a taxi-driver, a legal order characterised by the state-licensing of taxi cabs?

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Case C-174/15, Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken – ebooks via Dutch public libraries

Like public libraries the world over, Dutch libraries lend materials from their collections to the public. However, those materials may be protected by copyright. Consequently, Dutch law requires Dutch libraries to pay money to the copyright holders every single time a book is lent. The legal question in this case is whether that obligation extends to an ‘e-book’, and the answer depends on the word ‘lending’ in the EU’s ‘rental and lending rights’ Directive 2006/115/EC.

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Case C-490/14, Verlag Esterbauer – a map is not a database

Is a map a database? The EU’s Database Directive 96/9/EC requires a database to be ‘a collection of independent works … or other materials …’. It is a phrase which has already been interpreted by the CJEU in its earlier ‘sporting fixtures’ case law but now it is not clear whether the CJEU’s reasoning also brings a map within the scope of EU database law.

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Case C-114/15, AUDACE – audacious French farmers buy Spanish veterinary medicinal products

French farmers have been nipping over the Spanish border to go shopping for their veterinary medicinal products. This is not allowed under French law, only French-authorised wholesalers can import veterinary drugs. The French farmers wonder if the internal market exists.

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Case C-148/15, Deutsche Parkinson Vereinigung – bonuses for buying Dutch mail order medicines

In Germany, prices for medicines are not subject to competition for they are set nationally. Consequently, is it contrary to EU law for members of a German patients’ association to buy their prescription medicines from a Dutch mail order company and qualify for bonuses on their purchases?

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Case C-191/15, Verein für Konsumenteninformation – Amazon’s unfair online forum shopping

In the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a tiny branch of the corporate king, Amazon. It subjects its customers to buying their goods under Luxembourg law. Is that fair? And what happens to Amazon’s choice of law after it is has been forced through the latticed-meshes of six pieces of EU legislation which determine the applicable national law?

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