I am happy to annouce the upcoming international publication of Ethics and Business, a global introduction by Roudlegde publishers (27 May 2021). The English version of ‘ethiek en economie’ was published by Noordhoff in the Netherlands in 2018. Now, also elsewhere in the world this handbook on ethics and business will be distributed. For more info, please visit: Ethics and Business | Taylor & Francis Group.
Why is this ruling so important?
In this ground-breaking ruling, the European Court of Justice held that European Law is of a higher legal order than National Law. In case of contrary national legislation, the European rules therefore prevail.
In the early sixties, the Italian government nationalized the electricity sector. Mister Flaminio Costa disagreed with this course of affairs, because he owned shares in a small private electricity company that was now being merged into a state owned company: ENEL. As reprisal, he refused to pay his electricity bills, with a total sum of almost 2000 Lire. In the Italian court, he argued that the nationalization was against European Law. The Italian government however, held that under no conditions, a domestic court could set aside national law.
What was decided?
The European Court of Justice ruled that in this case the nationalisation of the electricity sector was a matter the European Commission should deal with, since the commission was competent to review such acts against European Law.
Please note that In casu, mister Costa did not win the argument. However, the court was very clear on one thing: the Italian government was wrong in assuming that no domestic court could set aside domestic law.
Important quotes from the verdict
The obligations undertaken under the treaty establishing the community would not be unconditional, mut merely contingent, if they could be called in question by subsequent legislative acts of the signatories. Wherever the Ttreaty grants the states the rights unilaterally, it does this by clear and precise provisions.
It follows from all these observations that the law stemming from the treaty, and independent source of law, could not, because of its special and original nature, be overridden by domestic legal provisions, however framed, without being deprived of its character as community law and without the legal basis of the community itself being called into question.
Most relevant Articles
Art. 288 TFEU (ex Art. .249 TEC, in the original ruling a reference is made to the earlier Art. 189 of the EEC treaty).
A short introduction in the preasumptio similtudinis, tertium comparationis and functional equivalence
In their latest party programme, the Dutch Party of Freedom is proud to limit the seize of their programme to only one page. The content does not really come as a surprise though. However, I am still intrigued when I read a party’s desire to ban a particular religious book. It is the goal of the PVV (Party of Freedom) to ban the Holy Quran from Dutch soil. While this is nothing new, the popularity of this party is greater than ever.
Therefore, it seems a good idea to help mister Wilders with some legal advise in what he should do to actually ban this holy book by law