European Court of Justice

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Shadow Minister (Europe)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those decisions of the European Court of Justice where the court have found an item of European Community legislation to be in breach of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe)

holding answer 13 June 2005

European Court Report 1–8419.

There have however been many cases over the years where the Court has been presented with legal arguments on the principle of proportionality. The Court's website provides a list of officially reported cases which refer to the principle. Some of these references are to summaries of the parties' pleadings; some are in opinions of the Advocates General; and some are in judgments of the Court. Because of the number of references to the principle of proportionality, I am unable to provide a comprehensive analysis of the instances in which the Court has struck down Community legislation on this basis due to the disproportionate cost that would be involved. The list can be found at:

http://curia.eu.int/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&Submit= Submit&docj=docj&docop=docop&numaff=&datefs=&da tefe=&nomusuel=&domaine=&mots=%22principle+of+ proportionality%22&resmax=100

Alternatively, a list of cases in which the Court dealt with legal questions on the principle of proportionality can be found in the 'Alphabetical Subject Matter' section of the Court's website (www.curia.eu.int) under 'Principes generaux du droit communautaire'. The case references are under the heading 'Proportionnalite"'. This section is only available in French.

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