CJEU Case C-122/17 / Judgment

David Smith v Patrick Meade and Others
Deciding body type
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding body
Court (Grand Chamber)
Decision date
ECLI (European case law identifier)
  • CJEU Case C-122/17 / Judgment

    Key facts of the case:

    Reference for a preliminary ruling — Approximation of laws — Insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles — Third Directive 90/232/EEC — Article 1 — Liability for personal injury caused to all passengers other than the driver — Compulsory insurance — Direct effect of directives — Obligation to disapply national legislation contrary to a directive — Non-application of a contractual clause contrary to a directive

    Outcome of the case:

    On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

    EU law, in particular Article 288 TFEU, must be interpreted as meaning that a national court, hearing a dispute between private persons, which finds that it is unable to interpret the provisions of its national law that are contrary to a provision of a directive that satisfies all the conditions required for it to produce direct effect in a manner that is compatible with that provision, is not obliged, solely on the basis of EU law, to disapply those provisions of national law and a clause to be found, as a consequence of those provisions of national law, in an insurance contract.

    In a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, a party adversely affected by the incompatibility of national law with EU law or a person subrogated to the rights of that party could however rely on the case-law arising from the judgment of 19 November 1991, Francovich and Others (C‑6/90 and C‑9/90, EU:C:1991:428), in order to obtain from the Member State, if justified, compensation for any loss sustained.

  • Paragraphs referring to EU Charter

    47) In support of that interpretation, the Court stated in particular, in paragraph 22 of the judgment of 19 April 2016, DI (C‑441/14, EU:C:2016:278), that the source of the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age is to be found in various international instruments and in the constitutional traditions common to the Member States and that that principle, now enshrined in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be regarded as a general principle of EU law.