Direct effect of EU law
Produced in partnership with Laura Bolado
Direct effect of EU law

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Bolado provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Direct effect of EU law
  • What is direct effect of EU law?
  • Types of direct effect
  • Development of the doctrine
  • Vertical direct effect
  • Horizontal direct effect
  • What is the so called incidental horizontal effect of Directives?
  • Has the doctrine changed from 2000 onwards?
  • Could there be cases where vertical direct effect is applied coupled with state liability?
  • How has (vertical) direct effect been received by national courts?

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What is direct effect of EU law?

The direct effect is a fundamental principle of EU law developed by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Van Gend en Loos. It is a mechanism through which individuals can enforce rights in member states’ courts, based on EU law; a remedy against non-compliance with EU law.

In Van Gend en Loos the provision in question was an article of the Treaty ie primary law. The transport company Van Gend & Loos had imported goods from Germany into the Netherlands and had to pay customs duties which it considered incompatible with art 12 EEC Treaty (now TFEU, Art