Amministrazione Delle Finanze Dello Stato v Simmenthal SpA (No 2): ECJ 9 Mar 1978

ECJ The Court of Justice considered a reference for a preliminary ruling, pursuant to article 1977 of the Treaty, as having been validly brought before it so long as the reference has not been withdrawn by the court from which it emanates or has not been quashed on appeal by a superior court.
The direct applicability of community law means that its rules must be fully and uniformly applied in all the member states from the date of their entry into force and for so long as they continue in force. Directly applicable provisions are a direct source of rights and duties for all those affected thereby, whether member states or individuals; this consequence also concerns any national court whose task it is as an organ of a member to protect the rights conferred upon individuals by community law.
In accordance with the principle of the precedence of community law, the relationship between provisions of the treaty and directly applicable measures of the institutions on the one hand and the national law of the member states on the other is such that those provisions and measures not only by their entry into force render automatically inapplicable any conflicting provision of current national law but – in so far as they are an integral part of, and take precedence in, the legal order applicable in the territory of each of the member states – also preclude the valid adoption of new national legislative measures to the extent to which they would be incompatible with community provisions.
Any recognition that national legislative measures which encroach upon the field within which the community exercises its legislative power or which are otherwise incompatible with the provisions of community law had any legal effect would amount to a corresponding denial of the effectiveness of obligations undertaken unconditionally and irrevocably by member states pursuant to the treaty and would thus imperil the very foundations of the community.
A national court which is called upon, within the limits of its jurisdiction, to apply provisions of community law is under a duty to give full effect to those provisions, if necessary refusing of its own motion to apply any conflicting provision of national legislation, even if adopted subsequently, and it is not necessary for the court to request or await the prior setting aside of such provisions by legislative or other constitutional means.


C-106/77, R-106/77, [1978] EUECJ R-106/77, [1978] 3 CMLR 263, [1978] ECR 629





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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

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Updated: 01 October 2022; Ref: scu.132534