Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Oberlandesgericht Innsbruck - Austria.
Free movement of goods - Restriction resulting from actions of individuals - Obligations of the Member States - Decision not to prohibit a demonstration by environmental protesters which resulted in the complete closure of the Brenner motorway for almost 30 hours - Justification - Fundamental rights - Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly - Principle of proportionality.
Outcome of the case:
119. In the light of all the foregoing considerations, I am of the opinion that the Court should give the following answers to the questions raised by the Oberlandesgericht Innsbruck:
101) In the Community legal order the Court protects the same or very similar rights as general principles of law. According to well established case-law ... fundamental rights form an integral part of the general principles of law, the observance of which [the Court] ensures. For that purpose the Court draws inspiration from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States and from the guidelines supplied by international treaties for the protection of human rights on which the Member States have collaborated or of which they are signatories ... The European Convention on Human Rights has special significance in that respect. (44) Article 6(2) EU confirms that the Union must respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the Convention and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. Article 11 of the Convention similarly guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly and association. More recently, the rights of freedom of expression and assembly have been reaffirmed in Articles 11 and 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. (45)