Legal bases of state liability for the acts attributable to the courts of final instance

Regina Valutytė

Abstract


The article discusses the legitimacy of the doctrine of state liability for the acts attributable to national courts of final instance.
Referring to the acknowledged methods of interpretation, the author analyses whether the doctrine of state liability for the acts attributable to courts of final instance finds its support in any other article of the EC Treaty. As the basis for the analysis the Article 288 regulating the conditions of liability of EC institutions is chosen. Although the Court indicates in its case law that conditions of state liability and those of Community institutions do not differ, the author doubts whether the situation has not changed since the decision of Köbler was adopted. In the author‘s opinion it is unlikely that the ECJ would admit its own liability.
The article takes into consideration relevant rules of international law, which apply to the parties of the Treaty as regards the concept of a “state” as the subject of the relations of liability. The author examines whether the contracting parties to the Treaty aimed at giving the term “state” a special meaning, or whether they intended it to be the same concept as it is conceived in public international law. Having established that the contracting states did not intend to convey to the term “state” a meaning different from the one used in international law, the author, analyzes the principles inherent in national legal systems of those states, which were members of the EU at the time when the decision in Köbler case was adopted as a complementary mean of interpretation.
Having arrived at the conclusion that principles inherent in national legal systems of the member states cannot constitute the basis for substantiating state liability for the acts attributable to courts of final instance, the author invokes the method of teleological interpretation and examines whether it is enough to base the doctrine of state liability for the acts attributable to national courts of final instance on the principle of effectiveness.
The author concludes that the ECJ acts within the framework of the EC Treaty and the object and the purpose of the Treaty require a state to be liable for the act attributable to a court of final instance if it adopts a decision that is incompatible with the EC law.

Keywords


European Union Law; European Union; civil liability; köblev case

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236