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Case Law of the Court of Justice

1 Sep 2011

On 7 July, 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in the case C-310/10 referred for a preliminary ruling in relation to the interpretation of Council Directive 2000/43/EC and Directive 2000/78/EC regarding equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, and, in the event of conflict between those provisions and national legislation or a judgment of the Curtea Constituțională (Constitutional Court), the consequences flowing from the primacy of European Union law.

ECJ noted that the Court of Justice has jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning the interpretation of the Treaties and of acts of the institutions of the European Union. ECJ also stated that, in exceptional circumstances, it can examine the conditions in which the case was referred to it by the national court, in order to confirm its own jurisdiction. The Court ruled that a reference by a national court could be rejected if, inter alia, it was obvious that European Union law could not be applied, either directly or indirectly, to the circumstances of the case.

ECJ furthermore held that the questions referred by the Curtea de Apel Bacău, the purpose of which was not to ascertain whether a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings fell within the scope of Directive 2000/43 or Directive 2000/78, but which were in fact based on the assumption that that was the case in order to seek an interpretation from the Court, even though those provisions of European Union law clearly could not be applied, either directly or indirectly, to the circumstances of the case, were inadmissible.

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