Edited by Paula Giliker
Chapter 4: Francovich liability before national courts: 25 years on, has anything changed?
This chapter examines the application by national courts of the Francovich doctrine of state liability for breach of European Union (EU) law. After a review of the existing literature, it analyses a selection of reported decisions from all member states of the European Union addressing EU law based liability claims decided over the last decade. The analysis suggests that the principle is generally well accepted, even in relation to damages caused by legislative and judicial acts, or regulatory or supervisory failure, which are in breach of EU law, and that it has found its place alongside, or within, national tort regimes. Still, as national courts apply EU conditions restrictively, and impose various additional substantive or procedural requirements, Francovich claims rarely lead to actual compensation, thus casting doubt about its contribution to the enforcement of EU law and the effective protection of individuals’ rights.
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