Friday, March 23, 2012

Pubblico Ministero v. Ratti case brief

Pubblico Ministero v. Ratti
Case 148/78, [1979] ECR 1629

FACTS
-Italian manufacturer packaged + labeled products in accordance with 2 community law directives (solvents) (varnishes) even though the directives not yet had been implemented in italy.
-Manufacturer prosecuted for not including labeling information that was required by Italian law then in force, but not required under the directives.
-By time the goods were marketed, deadline for (solvents) implementation passed, but not (varnishes).

RULES/ANALYSIS
1.  Solvents Directive - Deadline for Implementation Expired.
-A member state which has not adopted the implementing measures required by the directive in the prescribed periods may not rely, as against individuals, on its own failure to perform the obligation which the directive entails.
-A member state may not apply its internal law -- even if it is provided with penal sanctions -- which has not been adapted in compliance with the directive, to a person who has complied with the requirements of the directive. 


2.  Varnishes Directive - Deadline for Implementation NOT Expired.
-It is only at the end of the prescribed period and in the event of the member state’s default that the directive will have the effects (above).

-Until that date, Member States remain free in that field.

Holding: 
National courts can not take into account the directive as a defense by an individual who has complied with it, if the directives date for implementation has not expired.


Notes:  As of the time the directive is adopted, and throughout the period set for its implementation by the States, Member States are precluded from adopting any national measures contrary to that directive.

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