Regina v Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food Ex Parte Hedley Lomas (Ireland) Ltd: ECJ 23 May 1996

The wrongful prevention by a state of the lawful export of animals gave rise to a right to claim for damages.
LMA The UK had refused to grant licences for the export of live sheep to Spain, on the grounds that the slaughterhouses were not complying with the terms of an EC Directive requiring the stunning of animals before slaughter. The UK conceded they were in breach of the Treaty provision on export restrictions but argued that it was justified on the grounds of animal welfare.
Held: This was a sufficiently serious breach, on the basis of

  • Lack of discretion left to MS
  • Clarity of the Treaty provision breached
  • Absence of an established ground for justification.
    Where MS was not called upon to make any legislative choices and had considerably reduced/no discretion – a mere infringement of community law may be sufficient to establish ‘as sufficiently serious breach’
  • Citations:

    Times 06-Jun-1996, [1996] ECR 1 2553, C-5/94, [1997] QB 139, [1996] EUECJ C-5/94



    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 . .
    CitedOakley Inc v Animal Ltd and others CA 20-Oct-2005
    It was argued that the Secretary of State, when implementing the Directive in the 2001 Regulations, had exceeded his powers in preserving provisions of the Registered Designs Act. The judge had held the Seceretary had exceeded his powers. The . .
    Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

    Agriculture, European

    Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.87360