Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 314 (Oct)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Communities

Judges Rodríguez Iglesias (President), Puissochet, Wathelet and Schintgen (Presidents of Chambers), Gulmann, Edward, Jann, Skouris, Macken, Colneric, von Bahr, Cunha Rodrigues and Rosas (Rapporteur)

Judgment Dates: 22 October 2002


European Communities - Animals - Animal health - Diseases of cattle - Community legislation providing for import of beef products from United Kingdom - National legislation prohibiting import of beef products from United Kingdom - Validity of national legislation - Council Directive (EEC) 89/662 - Council Decision (EC) 98/256 - Commission Decision (EC) 98/692.

The Case

A decision adopted by the Community institutions that had not been challenged by its addressee within the time-limit laid down by art230 EC (formerly EC Treaty, art173) became definitive against that person. As regards the possibility of invoking new factors which had arisen after the adoption of a Community measure in order to challenge the legality of that measure, the legality of that measure had to be assessed on the basis of the factual and legal situation which existed at the time when it had been adopted. In the instant case, the fact that Council Decision(EC) 98-256 (the decision) provided for its regular review, if a member state took the view that new factors gave rise to an obligation for the Commission to adopt a fresh decision, it was for that state to follow the procedures prescribed by the Treaty and Community measures and, where appropriate, to have recourse to the procedure for failure to act provided for that purpose. Accordingly, in the instant case, a member state could not invoke the unlawfulness of the decision, after the time-limit laid down by art230 EC had expired, in order to dispute the merits of an action brought against it for annulment of national legislation contrary to the decision.

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.