EU Law - Preliminary Rulings under Article 267 TFEU III - The CILFIT Criteria

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 10-11-20 21:39
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  • Preliminary Rulings under Article 267 TFEU III - The CILFIT Criteria
    • Wording of Article 267 TFEU indicates court or tribunal must decide whether decision on question of EU Law is 'necessary' to give judgement in case before it.
      • Guidelines (CILFIT criteria) for determining whether or not ruling is necessary drawn from CILFIT Srl v Ministro della Sanita (case 283/81) [1982] ECR 3415
    • Three 'CILFIT criteria' - if one of following situation applies:
      • (a) CILFIT, para 10
        • Where question of interpretation of Community Law (now EU Law) raised before national court is not relevant to conclusion of case
      • (b) CILFIT, para 14
        • where previous decisions of ECJ have already dealt with point of Community Law (now EU Law) in question.
      • (c) CILFIT, paras 16-20
        • correct application of Community Law (now EU Law) is so obvious as to leave no scope for any reasonable doubt as to manner in which question raised is to be resolved, and court is convinced that matter is equally obvious to courts of other Member States and to ECJ
          • assessed on basis of characteristic features of EU Law and particular difficulties to which its interpretation gives rise
    • CILFIT criteria - other points
      • Court must bear in mind EU Law is specialist area, the meaning of which is not always clear.
      • De Costa en Schaake (cases 28-30/62) [1963] ECR 31
        • Where ECJ ruled on similar point of interpretation in previous case
        • Could be reason for court to decide decision on question of EU Law is not in fact necessary
      • ECJ also issued information Note on references from national courts for preliminary ruling 2011/C 160/1
        • giving guidance to national courts on number of points concerning Article 267 TFEU references.
          • Information Note reiterates CILFIT criteria, confirming their importance.


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