Emmott v Minister for Social Welfare and Attorney General: ECJ 25 Jul 1991

Europa So long as a directive has not been properly transposed into national law, individuals are unable to ascertain the full extent of their rights. That state of uncertainty for individuals subsists even after the Court has delivered a judgment finding that the Member State in question has not fulfilled its obligations under the directive and even if the Court has held that a particular provision or provisions of the directive are sufficiently precise and unconditional to be relied upon before a national court. Only the proper transposition of the directive will bring that state of uncertainty to an end and it is only upon that transposition that the legal certainty which must exist if individuals are to be required to assert their rights is created. It follows that, until such time as a directive has been properly transposed, a defaulting Member State may not rely on an individual’ s delay in initiating proceedings against it in order to protect rights conferred upon him by the provisions of the directive and that a period laid down by national law within which proceedings must be initiated cannot begin to run before that time.
Community law precludes the competent authorities of a Member State from relying, in proceedings brought against them by an individual before the national courts in order to protect rights directly conferred upon him by Article 4(1) of Directive 79/7 on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, on national procedural rules relating to time-limits for bringing proceedings so long as that Member State has not properly transposed that directive into its domestic legal system.


C-208/90, [1991] ECR I-4269, [1991] EUECJ C-208/90





Cited by:

CitedPreston and Others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS and Others; Fletcher and Others v Midland Bank Plc HL 26-Feb-1998
‘Employment’ in context of a sex discrimination claim referred to a current employment contract even in context of there having been a series of repeated contracts of employment. The question was referred to the European Court of Justice. . .
CitedAutologic Holdings Plc and others v Commissioners of Inland Revenue HL 28-Jul-2005
Taxpayer companies challenged the way that the revenue restricted claims for group Corporation Tax relief for subsidiary companies in Europe. The issue was awaiting a decision of the European Court. The Revenue said that the claims now being made by . .
CitedWalker-Fox v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 29-Nov-2005
The claimant pensioner had moved to France. He sought to claim a retrospective winter fuel allowance claim. The government had eventually agreed to make payments to UK residents abroad.
Held: The claimant was deemed to have had knowledge of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.160522