The ECJ dictat on Elchinov

The ECJ verdict on Elchinov has finally arrived.
For all of you who were waiting for a new jurisprudential trend on matters of preliminary reference I am sorry to tell you that you still have to wait.
The ECJ in fact has ignored the Opinion of its AG (see previous post at http://citylawresearch.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-trends-on-preliminary-ruling.html) and has riaffirmed the right of a national court to refer to the ECJ, even when the case has been referred back to the former by the highest national court, if it considers that the ruling given by the highest court is inconsistent with EU law.
The ECJ has stressed the fact that a national court has to have the “widest discretion in referring matters to the Court if they consider that a case pending before them raises questions involving interpretation of provisions of European Union law, or consideration of their validity, which are necessary for the resolution of the case” (par. 26), although this faculty “cannot be transformed into an obligation” (par.28).
Cartesio and Rheinmühlen have been eventually saved…at least for now!

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