The effects of the European Court of Justice rulings on Greek direct by ert554898


									Consequences of the Acte
Clair Doctrine for the Greek
   Courts – Questions of
      Temporal Effect

 Lisbon, 17 – 18 September 2007

         Dr. Georgios Matsos, LL.M.
            Thessaloniki, Greece
         Acte clair/ Acte éclairé
• Naturally a part of EC Law, where almost
  no ECJ case law exists
• “Courtesy” (of high political and legal
  importance) by EC Treaty to the national
  legal orders/ national Courts
• Scholars/ national Courts have, thus, in
  principle the task to define the Acte clair/
  Acte éclairé doctrine
Greece                                           2
         Acte claire/éclairé doctrine as
         instructions to national Courts
• Acte claire: Don’t refer if it is obvious
• Acte éclairé (CILFIT): Don’t refer if ECJ
  has already decided on a similar matter.
• Thus: Don’t refer only if law resources
  from EU organs give sufficient evidence
  on interpretation of EC Law
• But: Refer in any other case

Greece                                        3
         Behavior of Greek Courts (1)
1. I don’t refer, because I want national law
   to prevail (incorrect stance)
2. I don’t refer, because I feel sure of
   myself on the interpretation (incorrect?)
3. I refer, because I am not sure (correct)
4. I don’t refer, because it is obvious
5. I refer, even if it is obvious (incorrect)
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    Behavior of Greek Courts (2)
1. No cases known in tax law, several
   known in other areas of law
2. The usual behavior of the Supreme
   Court (e.g.: Mergers Judgment, StE
3. E.g.: Athinaiki Zythopoiia (C-294/99)
4. E.g.: Bananas Judgment (StE
5. E.g.: Royal Bank of Scotland (C-311/97)
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          Temporal Effects
• Temporal Effects of Greek judgments
  always ex tunc
• Application of judgments ex nunc non-
  natural for Greek Courts
• Thus, in practice, Greek Courts will always
  apply ECJ Judgments ex tunc, unless
  otherwise ruled by the ECJ.

Greece                                      6

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