Member States’ liability for judicial error resulting in breaches of European Union Law

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This paper presents the remedies available to persons whose European law rights have been infringed by judgments given by national Courts. The paper firsts presents the concept of state liability for judicial errors in relation to European law, as it stems from the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, then goes on to show how the European Court of Human Rights may give redress to such aggrieved parties. Finally, it discusses the differences in the possibility of redress given by the two courts and the compatibility between their approaches, finally leading to a discussion on the possible convergence of the two.


  • 1. Damian Chalmers, Gareth Davies, Giorgio Monti - European Union Law: Cases and Materials 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010;

  • 2. Paul Craig, Grainne de Burca - EU Law: Text, Cases, and Materials, 5th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011;

Judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union:

  • 3. Joined Cases 28 to 30/62 – Da Costa v Nederlandse Belastingadministratie (1963) ECR 31

  • 4. Case C-283/81 - Srl CILFIT and Lanificio di Gavardo SpA v Ministry of Health. (1982)

  • 5. Case C-224/01 - Gerhard Kobler v Republic of Austria (2003), ECR I-10239.

  • 6. Joined Cases C-6/90 and C-9/90 Andrea Francovich and Danila Bonifaci and others v Italian Republic (1991), ECR I-05357.

  • 7. Case C-46/93 - Brasserie du Pecheur and Factortame (1996) ECR I-1029;

  • 8. Case C-173/03 - Traghetti del Mediterraneo SpA v Repubblica Italiana (2006), ECR I-05177.

  • 9. Joined Cases C-72/14 and C-197/14 – X v Inspecteur van Rijksbelastingdienst and T.A. Van Dijk v Staatssecretaris van Financien, not yet reported.

  • 10. Case C-160/14 - João Filipe Ferreira da Silva e Brito and Others v Estado portugues, not yet reported.

Judgments of the European Court of Human Right:

  • 11. Case Of Ullens De Schooten And Rezabek V. Belgium (Applications nos. 3989/07 and 38353/07)

  • 12. Case Of Dhahbi V. Italy (Application no. 17120/09)

  • 13. Vergauwen v. Belgium (Application no. 4832/04)

  • 14. Dhabhi v Italy, cited above, para. 31

  • 15. Schipani and Other v. Italy (application no. 38369/09)

  • 16. Case Of Pronina V. Ukraine (Application no. 63566/00)

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