New Trends on Preliminary Ruling? Opinion of AG Cruz Villalon on Elchinov Case (C-173/09)

This interesting opinion by AG Villalon delivered on 10 June 2010, if followed by the ECJ, could really be revolutionary!

On the matter of preliminary reference to the ECJ by a lower national court to which a case has been referred back by a higher national court the AG states that the former should not have such a right and should comply with the decision of the superior national court.
In his opinion he states that “it does not appear to be necessary also for a lower court to consider it possible to disregard its internal hierarchical organization in order to preserve the effectiveness of European Union law, since, inter alia, an individual who holds rights conferred by European Union law may now bring an action for liability for judicial acts”(par. 27) against the Member State.
The AG is clearly taking some distance from the what the ECJ held in 1974 in Rheinmuhlen case -which was lately confirmed by various following judgements- that was that “a rule of national law whereby a court i bound on points of law by the rulings of a superior court cannot deprive the inferior courts of their power to refer to the Court questions of interpretation of Community law involving such ruling”.
Now we just have to wait and see if the ECJ will share the views of the AG…
Soon coming on this blog!

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