Key facts of the case:
The plaintiffs, a married couple, initiated legal proceedings against the tax authority concerning the specific amount of work-related tax reduction. The Münster Finance Court dismissed their claim. The plaintiffs filed an appeal-like motion (“complaint according to Article 19 (4) of the German Constitution”) to the Federal Finance Court. The plaintiffs were not represented by a lawyer. They argued that the German Financial Procedure Act (Finanzgerichtsordnung, FGO) was unconstitutional. All German laws requiring mandatory legal representation before court were considered to be invalid, as well as in violation of Article 47 of the Charter.
Margin number 5: “Furthermore, the plaintiffs assume that all national laws requiring mandatory representation were invalid since the Lisbon treaty entered into force. Insofar, they referred to Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.” margin number 20 “Section 62 (4) of the Financial Procedure Act does not violate Article 47 (2) 2 of the Charter. Accordingly, everyone has the possibility of being advised, defended, and represented. This provision does not, however, hinder the member states from choosing to require mandatory representation before a specific court for reasons of procedural economy (see Alber in Tettinger/Stern, Kölner Gemeinschaftskommentar zur Europäischen Grundrechte-Charta, 2006, Art. 47 margin number 72; Jarass, Neue Juristische Wochenzeitschrift 2011, 1393, 1398).”