Private Enforcement of EU Law Before National Courts
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Private Enforcement of EU Law Before National Courts

The EU Legislative Framework

Folkert Wilman

Private Enforcement of EU Law before National Courts successfully illustrates how legal actions brought by private parties can be instrumental in strengthening compliance with EU law. Through a detailed examination of selected EU legislation across the fields of procurement, intellectual property rights, consumer protection, and competition law, Folkert Wilman compares various remedies and procedures in which private parties have been utilised in the redress of grievances under EU law. An essential reference work for practicing lawyers acting before domestic courts in matters of EU Law, this timely publication offers new insights into private enforcement as a supplementary enforcement instrument, and offers clarity on how such a tool impacts on contractual remedies, procedural issues and the role of judicial review.
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Folkert Wilman


This chapter is concerned with selected legislative developments in the field of EU consumer protection law. Contrary to the fields assessed in the foregoing two chapters, in this case no one single, free-standing EU legal act exists that is exclusively concerned with private enforcement and that covers in principle all substantial rules at issue. That is not to say, however, that there is no legislation in force that is relevant for the present purposes. Quite to the contrary, consumer protection law may well be one of the fields of EU law with the greatest regulatory focus on remedial and procedural issues, even if in this case the relevant provisions are mostly embedded in and interlinked with the substantive regulatory activity. With some notable exceptions, the measures related to enforcement (be it private or public) are typically not restricted to specific legislative acts. Instead many of the legal acts that mainly contain substantive rules also contain certain enforcement-related provisions. These measures, moreover, tend to be rather diverse. Without being exhaustive, a number of legal acts and other legislative developments that are particularly relevant for the present purposes are assessed below, in particular the Consumer Injunctions Directive, the Unfair Terms Directive and the Product Liability Directive.When discussing these and a number of related directives, the focus is each time especially on the three main (substantive) private enforcement remedies provided for therein, namely actions for injunctions, contractual remedies and actions for damages, respectively.

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