Francovich, Bonifaci and others v Italy: ECJ 19 Nov 1991

LMA The claimants, a group of ex-employees sought arrears of wages on their employers’ insolvency. The European Directive required Member States to provide a guarantee fund to ensure payment of employees’ arrears of wages in the event of their employers’ insolvency. Since there was no prospect of claiming from their former employers, they brought their claim against the Italian State on 3 grounds

  • State had breached P’s substantive rights contained in the Directive
  • The rights conferred by the Directive were directly effective
  • State had failed to implement the Directive as required under Arts.5 and 189 [Arts.10 and 249]
  • The court had already held that Italy was in breach of its Community obligations in Art.169[Art.226]EC proceedings.
  • The rights conferred by the Directive were not directly effective as they were not sufficiently clear, precise and unconditional.
  • Where the State had failed to implement an EC Directive, it would be obliged to compensate individuals for damage suffered as a result of its failure to implement the Directive provided 3 conditions were satisfied
  • The Directive involves rights conferred on individuals.
  • The content of those rights can be identified on the basis of the provisions of the Directives
  • There is causal link between the State’s failure and the damage suffered by the persons affected.
    Where the 3 conditions of Francovich are fulfilled, individuals seeking compensation as a result of activities and practices that are inconsistent with EC Directives may proceed directly against the State (do not consider whether Directive is VDE first)
  • (1993) CMLR 66, C-6/90, [1991] ECR I-5357, [1992] IRLR 84, [1991] EUECJ C-6/90, [1995] ICR 722
    Cited by:
    CitedRegina v Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food ex parte Lay and Gage Admn 15-May-1995
    The claimants sought damages for the wrong interpretation of the law by the Ministry, which had restricted their rights to milk quota.
    Held: Making an administrative decision which was in breach of European law was not enough in itself to . .
    CitedPhonographic Performance Limited v Department of Trade and Industry HM Attorney General ChD 23-Jul-2004
    The claimant represented the interests of copyright holders, and complained that the defendant had failed to implement the Directive properly, leaving them unable properly to collect royalties in the music rental market. The respondent argued that . .
    CitedBarry v Midland Bank Plc HL 22-Jul-1999
    The defendant implemented a voluntary retirement scheme under which benefits were calculated according to the period of service of the employee. The plaintiff claimed that the scheme discriminated against workers who had taken career breaks, and . .
    CitedLonsdale v Howard and Hallam Ltd CA 8-Feb-2006
    The claimant sought damages after his agency with the defendants was terminated. The central issue was whether compensation was to be calculated at two years commission as derived from French practice or otherwise.
    Held: ‘there is no clear . .
    CitedSomerville v Scottish Ministers HL 24-Oct-2007
    The claimants complained of their segregation while in prison. Several preliminary questions were to be decided: whether damages might be payable for breach of a Convention Right; wheher the act of a prison governor was the act of the executive; . .
    CitedBritish Airways Plc v Williams and Others CA 3-Apr-2009
    The company appealed against an adverse finding on its holiday pay payments to its pilots, saying that the pay was subject to the 2004 Regulations alone. The Directive suggested that holiday pay should be at normal average rates of pay, but the . .
    CitedChurchill Insurance Company Ltd v Wilkinson and Others CA 19-May-2010
    The various insured defendants had been driven in the insured vehicles by a non-insured driver. Suffering injury at the negligence of the driver, they recovered variously damages. Their insurance companies sought recovery of the sums paid from their . .
    CitedChester, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 16-Oct-2013
    The two applicants were serving life sentences for murder. Each sought damages for the unlawful withdrawal of their rights to vote in elections, and the failure of the British parliament to take steps to comply with the judgment.
    Held: The . .
    CitedNuclear Decommissioning Authority v Energysolutions EU Ltd (Now Called ATK Energy EU Ltd) SC 11-Apr-2017
    This is an appeal on preliminary points of European Union and domestic law regarding the circumstances in which damages may be recoverable for failure to comply with the requirements of the Public Procurement Directive (Parliament and Council . .
    CitedHemmati and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Nov-2019
    The Home Secretary appealed from a finding that illegally entered asylum seekers had been unlawfully detained pending removal. The five claimants had travelled through other EU member states before entering the UK. The court considered inter alia . .

    Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

    European, Employment

    Leading Case

    Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.160412