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CJEU Joined Cases C-465/00, C-138/01 and C-139/01 / Judgment

Rechnungshof (C-465/00) v Österreichischer Rundfunk and Others and Christa Neukomm (C-138/01) and Joseph Lauermann (C-139/01) v Österreichischer Rundfunk

Policy area:
Information society
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
20/05/2004

Key facts of the case:

References for a preliminary ruling: Verfassungsgerichtshof (C-465/00) and Oberster Gerichtshof (C-138/01 and C-139/01) - Austria.
Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data - Directive 95/46/EC - Protection of private life - Disclosure of data on the income of employees of bodies subject to control by the Rechnungshof.

Outcome of the case:

THE COURT,

in answer to the questions referred to it by the Verfassungsgerichtshof by order of 12 December 2000 and by the Oberster Gerichtshof by orders of 14 and 28 February 2001, hereby rules:

  1. Articles 6(1)(c) and 7(c) and (e) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data do not preclude national legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, provided that it is shown that the wide disclosure not merely of the amounts of the annual income above a certain threshold of persons employed by the bodies subject to control by the Rechnungshof but also of the names of the recipients of that income is necessary for and appropriate to the objective of proper management of public funds pursued by the legislature, that being for the national courts to ascertain.
  2. Articles 6(1)(c) and 7(c) and (e) of Directive 95/46 are directly applicable, in that they may be relied on by an individual before the national courts to oust the application of rules of national law which are contrary to those provisions.