Reiseburo Broede v Sandker: ECJ 12 Dec 1996

ECJ (Judgment) 1 Freedom to provide services – Restrictions – Whether permissible – Conditions
(EC Treaty, Art. 59)
2 Freedom to provide services – Judicial recovery of debts – Restrictions – Obligation to use the services of a lawyer – Justification on grounds of the general interest – Protection of recipients of services and proper administration of justice – Permissible
(EC Treaty, Art. 59)
3 A national rule preventing nationals of other Member States from engaging in the provision of services does not fall outside the prohibition laid down by Article 59 of the Treaty unless four conditions are fulfilled, namely that it must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner, must be justified by imperative requirements in the general interest, must be suitable for securing the attainment of the objective which it pursues and must not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain it, and restrictions justified by overriding reasons in the general interest are permissible only if that interest is not already safeguarded by the rules to which the provider of the service is subject in the Member State where he is established.
4 Article 59 of the Treaty does not preclude a national rule which prohibits an undertaking established in another Member State from securing judicial recovery of debts owed to others on the ground that the exercise of that activity in a professional capacity is reserved to the legal profession. Such a prohibition is not discriminatory, since it applies without distinction to national providers of services and to those of other Member States, is intended to protect recipients of services against the harm which they could suffer as a result of using the services of persons not possessing the necessary professional or personal qualifications and to safeguard the proper administration of justice, is capable of achieving that objective on account of the guarantee of competence attaching to the services of a lawyer, and cannot be described as disproportionate, even if it is not applied in other Member States, since it is for the Member States to decide the extent to which activities are to be reserved to the legal profession.
‘the application of professional rules to lawyers, in particular those relating to organization, qualifications, professional ethics, supervision and liability, ensures that the ultimate consumers of legal services and the sound administration of justice are provided with the necessary guarantees in relation to integrity and experience’.


J.C. Moitinho de Almeida, P


C-3/95, [1996] ECR I-6511, [1997] 1 CMLR 224, [1996] EUECJ C-3/95





Cited by:

CitedLumsdon and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Legal Services Board SC 24-Jun-2015
The appellant, barristers and solicitors, challenged the respondent’s approval of alterations to their regulatory arrangements, under Part 3 of Schedule 4 to the 2007 Act. The alterations gave effect to the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, Legal Professions

Updated: 03 June 2022; Ref: scu.161490