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European Citizens´ Initiative Forum

Introduction of the notion of judicial precedent in all EU states

Author: Marius Pitigoi |
Updated on: 11/01/2023 |
Number of views: 560

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.


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Avinash Singh | 12/01/2023

Best of luck. I will try to refer some European friends to register for your cause.

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Petra Bertova | 13/01/2023

Let's consider this hypothetical situation:

A litigant finds himself in a situation that his case had opposite outcome than some previous case. If he has money for a lawyer he can go to EU court and argue with Art. 20 and 47 of CFR.

My question is: Will he win?

If yes, then the solution for this problem is money (to pay the lawyer)

And my suggestion for the solution is - NO MONEY. How about the system where you have the right for free judical services? Justice should be here for everybody not only for thouse rich ones who can afford it...

I believe that if people are guarenteed their rights for free, than also prejudical cases are being followed and recommendations not ignored. Because now people do not have money to enforce their rights.

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Marius Pitigoi | 14/01/2023

There will always be good doctors and less good doctors, good lawyers and less good lawyers.

And when you are a good doctor or a good lawyer, you will have clients who will pay more. This is part of the law of nature, I don't think we can change that. So yes, when it comes to lawyers, the rich have an advantage because they can afford good lawyers.

I can tell you what happened in Romania during communism when all doctors had to be paid the same, all lawyers had to be paid the same. Well, there were many lawyers or doctors who simply did not care about anything. Why bother? Anyway, they got the same salary.

But it seems to me that the discussion is off topic.

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