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CJEU Case C-49/18/ Judgment

Carlos Escribano Vindel v Ministerio de Justicia

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Second Chamber
Decision date:
07/02/2019

Key facts

  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of the second paragraph of Article 19(1) TEU, Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) and Article 2(1) and (2)(b) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ 2000 L 303, p. 16).
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between Mr Carlos Escribano Vindel and the Ministerio de Justicia (Ministry of Justice, Spain) concerning the reduction of his remuneration in the context of the Spanish State’s budgetary policy guidelines.

Judgement

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

  1. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 2(1) and (2)(b) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation must be interpreted, subject to the verifications to be made by the referring court, as not precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which established, in the context of general salary-reduction measures linked to the requirements of eliminating an excessive budget deficit, different percentage reductions for the basic salary and additional remuneration of members of the judiciary, which, according to the referring court has entailed greater percentage reductions for those members of the judiciary on two lower pay grades than those members of the judiciary on a higher pay grade, when the former receive a lower salary, are generally younger and generally have a shorter length of service than the latter.
  2. The second subparagraph of Article 19(1) TEU must be interpreted as meaning that the principle of judicial independence does not preclude the application to the applicant in the main proceedings of national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which established, without regard to the nature of the duties performed, length of service or the importance of the tasks performed, in the context of general salary-reduction measures linked to the requirements of eliminating an excessive budget deficit, different percentage reductions for the basic salary and additional remuneration of members of the judiciary, which, according to the referring court has entailed greater percentage salary reductions for those members of the judiciary on two lower pay grades than those members of the judiciary on a higher pay grade, when the former are paid less than the latter, provided that the level of remuneration received by the applicant in the main proceedings after application of the salary reduction at issue is commensurate with the importance of the duties he performs and, accordingly, guarantees his independent judgment, which is a matter for the referring court to ascertain.