Even if it seems strange to many citizens, in most EU states there is no notion of judicial precedent. Thus, the courts are not bound by judicial precedents in any way, in practice there are numerous examples where exactly the same case (for example, abuse clauses in contracts), with the same defendant, even with the same lawyers, are judged differently by different courts.
Our NGO fights for democracy and human rights and has several lawsuits with the Romanian state. We spent many hours studying jurisprudence and not a few times it happened to us that we received a decision that was in total disagreement with another one that we had invoked.
This state of fact obviously violates Art. 20 (Equality before the law) and Art. 47 (Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial) of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. If the same law is interpreted differently by different courts, not only is the law not the same for everyone, but the process is not fair either.
To claim the uniform application of the law, civil law systems offer certain mechanisms but which are not available to the litigant, he cannot initiate them. Even more, litigants cannot profit from such a mechanism, this having effect only for the future.
Our goal is to start a European civic initiative to try to get the Commission to issue a directive by which the notion of judicial precedent will be effectively enforced.
We are aware that the legal systems and traditions in the EU states are different, that's why we don't ask for the implementation of a certain form.
But what we do ask is for the litigant to have a concrete way to invoke a judicial proceeding and for there to be certain consequences if a judge decides to ignore a judicial precedent (recommendations are not enough, they are ignored many times and when it matters the most).
We know that it will be difficult for us and that there is no political will to support our action, but we are determined to start this endeavour. After all, everything starts with a dream, doesn't it?
Please contact me if you want to get involved.
Leave a commentTo be able to add comments, you need to authenticate or register.