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Key facts of the case:

This case is about a fisherman fishing in the North Sea with fishing nets which have been manipulated (the meshes have been made smaller or have been obstructed) contrary to Regulation (EC) no. 850/98. This means that young, small fish cannot escape. The fisherman’s fishing permit has been suspended for four weeks, which he considers to be a punishment based on a criminal charge. Still, he is being prosecuted. He claims that this is contrary to, among other things, Articles 50 and 51 of the Charter, which say that he cannot be prosecuted on the basis of the same criminal charge twice. However, the Public Prosecutor states that the suspension of a permit is not a verdict based on a criminal charge, so that the fisherman can be prosecuted. The Supreme Court holds that the Public Prosecutor is right, because the suspension of a  permit does not amount to a verdict by a criminal court, based on a criminal charge.

Key legal question raised by the Court:

Does the suspension of a fishing permit amount to being a verdict on the basis of a criminal charge?

Outcome of the case:

The Supreme Court holds that the fisherman can be prosecuted, even though his fishing permit has already been suspended (implying a loss of income for the fisherman). The suspension of a fishing permit does not amount to being a verdict on the basis of a criminal charge and the prosecution therefore does not imply that the fisherman is prosecuted on the basis of the same criminal charge twice.