EC Law

A discussion on the limitations of the direct effect of EC (European Community) law.

This paper examines how the doctrine of “direct effect” of EC Law is applicable in principle at least to all binding community law including EC treaties, secondary legislation and international agreements. It looks at how there are difficulties with the idea of direct effect,and limitations as to where and when it will apply, the most problematic being directives. It also shows how even though there have been extensions of this idea, as seen with horizontal and indirect effect, the principle is still not without restriction. It discusses what the limitations are and whether or not they should still be maintained.
“In the case of Van Gend en Loos, they imported a quantity of a chemical substance from Germany into the Netherlands, which was charged a duty supposedly higher since the EEC Treaty came into force, contrary to Article 12. This issue was whether, on the basis of this article nationals can lay claim to any individual rights. In the Judgement, the ECJ put forward various arguments for “direct effect” that the objective of the EEC Treaty was to establish a common market. This implies more than an agreement and therefore creates mutual obligations. The preamble to this Treaty refers to not only governments but peoples, which is then confirmed by the establishment of institutions empowered with sovereign rights which effect member states and citizens. It imposes on people limitations but also confers upon them rights, and it is therefore beneficial to have these.”