Equivalence and effectiveness
Produced in partnership with Dr Alexander Türk, Professor of Law of King’s College London
Equivalence and effectiveness

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Dr Alexander Türk, Professor of Law of King’s College London provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Equivalence and effectiveness
  • Development of the principles of equivalence and effectiveness
  • Harmonisation in EU legislation
  • The principle of equivalence
  • The principle of effectiveness
  • Emergence of the effectiveness principle—the standard of impossibility
  • Strict standard of effectiveness—full and effective protection
  • Adjustment of the test—excessive difficulty
  • Remedies required by EU law

Development of the principles of equivalence and effectiveness

Under the principle of procedural autonomy, in the absence of relevant EU law, it is for national legal systems to determine the procedures governing actions based on EU law before national courts. However, the national procedural autonomy of the EU Member States is restricted by the dual principles of equivalence and effectiveness.

The relationship between these principles found expression in Comet v Produktschap as follows:

‘In the absence of any relevant [Union] rules, it is for the national legal order of each Member State to designate the competent courts and to lay down the procedural rules for proceedings designed to ensure the protection of the rights which individuals acquire through the direct effect of [Union] law, provided that such rules are not less favourable than those governing the same right of action on an internal matter. The position would be different only if those rules made it impossible in practice to exercise rights which the national courts have a duty to protect.’ (Emphasis added)

The principle of equivalence prohibits discrimination in relation to the procedural circumstances between claims based on national law and claims based on EU law. It follows that procedural rules applied in actions for the enforcement of EU rights cannot be less favourable than those governing similar actions based on national law.

The principle of effectiveness, on the

Popular documents