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Article 47 - Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Key facts of the case:
The Supplementary pension Institution (the applicant) had requested for repurchase of its parts in SOC6), a public limited liability company. This request was not executed and the company SOC6) went later into liquidation. The applicant filed an application for compensation for the damages suffered. The first instance Court declared the application for damages made by the applicant inadmissible. The Court of Appeal confirmed the decision of the first instance Court.
The applicant appealed of this decision to the Court of Cassation. According to the applicant, Article 36 of the Act of 20 December 2002 should have been interpreted in light of the text and purpose of Article 16 of Directive 85/611/EEC, the interpretation of which should be based on Article 47 of the Charter. The applicant also suggested that a question for a preliminary ruling should be submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union on whether the mentioned provisions allow for the interpretation that an individual action may be brought by individual unit-holders (in the sense used in the Directive 85/611/EEC).
Outcome of the case:
The Court of Cassation considered that unit-holders can seek effective remedy in what concerns personal damages only and therefore dismissed the case.
1. Considering that in its plea the appellant criticised the judges for having declared its action inadmissible, as, according to the appellant, Article 36 of the Act of December 2002 should be interpreted in light of the text and purpose of Article 16 of Directive 85/611/EEC, the interpretation of which should be based on Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and it concludes suggesting that a question for a preliminary ruling should be submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union on whether a correct interpretation of these provisions should accept an individual action brought by individual unit-holders.
2. Considering the grounds set out by the appellant, the judges have correctly interpreted both Article 36 of the Act of 20 December 2002 and Article 16 of Directive 85/611/EEC, in light of the fundamental rights protected by Community law, in this case the right to an effective remedy under Article 47 of the Charter, they [the judges] were right to consider as respected by the legislator the rules resulting from company law providing that it is for the company to claim damages to the company’s assets, whereas the unit holders, differently from the company, have the right to claim personal damages.