Key facts of the case:
A Spanish translator applied for enrolment in the register of court experts (translation) before the cour d’appel de Paris and before the bureau de la Cour de cassation. Both applications having been rejected, the applicant challenged both decisions before the referring court.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
- A duty entrusted by a court, in relation to specific matters within the context of a dispute before it, to a professional who has been appointed as a court expert translator constitutes the provision of services for the purposes of Article 50 EC (now Article 57 TFEU).
- The activities of court experts in the field of translation, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, do not constitute activities which are connected with the exercise of official authority for the purposes of the first paragraph of Article 45 EC (now the first paragraph of Article 51 TFEU).
- Article 49 EC (now Article 56 TFEU) precludes national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, under which enrolment in a register of court expert translators is subject to conditions concerning qualifications, but the interested parties cannot obtain knowledge of the reasons for the decision taken in their regard and that decision is not open to effective judicial scrutiny enabling its legality to be reviewed, inter alia, as regards its compliance with the requirement under European Union law that the qualifications obtained and recognised in other Member States must have been properly taken into account.
- Article 49 EC (now Article 56 TFEU) precludes a requirement, such as that laid down in Article 2 of Law No 71-498 of 29 June 1971 on court experts, as amended by Law No 2004-130 of 11 February 2004, to the effect that no person may be enrolled in a national register of court experts as a translator unless he can prove that he has been enrolled for three consecutive years in a register of court experts maintained by a cour d’appel, where it is found that such a requirement prevents, in the consideration of an application by a person established in another Member State who cannot prove that he has been so enrolled, the qualification obtained by that person and recognised in that other Member State from being duly taken into account for the purposes of determining whether — and, if so, to what extent — that qualification may attest to skills equivalent to those normally expected of a person who has been enrolled for three consecutive years in a register of court experts maintained by a cour d’appel.
- The duties of court expert translators, as discharged by experts enrolled in a register such as the national register of court experts maintained by the Cour de cassation, are not covered by the definition of ‘regulated profession’ set out in Article 3(1)(a) of Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications.