Tip: Suggest Improvements for the Future
It may be that, in the course of the research for your dissertation, you discover previous decisions and actions that may happen again in the future. You may want to suggest that there is such a risk in the future and that there are ways in which that risk can be guarded against. You may also want to state challenges with implementing such safeguards. For instance, in the below section, there is comment that the ECJ is, sometimes, so myopic that its stance won’t budge.
3.3.3. Future Application
The ECtHR has held that a failure by a national court to make a preliminary reference to the ECJ could be a breach of Article 6 ECHR in certain circumstances. Thus, it is arguable that where similar facts to Gasser arise again, the domestic court may have to make a reference to the ECJ, and in doing so, show cogent evidence of the risk of a flagrant breach, unlike that presented to the ECJ in Gasser. In this context, the ECJ will have another chance to take human rights seriously, with the opportunity to apply Article 307 EC complementing Article 71 of the Brussels Regulation and jurisprudence both of the ECJ and ECtHR.
Notwithstanding, given the ECJ’s swift dismissal of human rights concerns in Gasser in favour of the inflexible system of lis pendens, it appears unlikely that it would permit exception in the future. For the ECJ legal certainty under the Brussels regime is clearly more significant than legal certainty either through party autonomy under jurisdiction agreements or through the right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time. As Merrett notes, “[t]he ECJ simply does not see questions of jurisdiction as being concerned with private rights at all,” a stance which will need to change, particularly in light of the pressing atmosphere of today’s human rights culture.
Soc Divagsa v Spain (1993) 74 DR 274.
Legal certainty is perhaps more significant under the Brussels Regulation, particularly illustrated by the addition of Article 30.
Cf. A.G. Léger in Gasser, at .
Merrett: 2006, p332. Hartley notes that this is perhaps not surprising given that the ECJ is more concerned with public law, and as such, should be expected to give more weight to State interests, rather than the interests of private parties (Hartley: 2005b, pp814-815.)