A further Prestige instalment, this time on the powers of first instance judges to refer to Luxembourg and the, curtailed, authority of the Court of Appeal to stop them.

The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v The Kingdom of Spain M/T “PRESTIGE” (No. 5) [2022] EWCA Civ 238 is an appeal against The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v The Kingdom of Spain [2020] EWHC 1920 which I reported on here.

The issue on this appeal (tag ‘Prestige’ on this blog and ‘Prestige(@GAVClaw)’ on Twitter search will give you plenty of returns) is the very reference of the judge to the CJEU. At Kirchberg the case is known under reference C-700/20 and the hearing was held a few weeks back.

At issue is essentially whether the judge should have made reference to the CJEU at all, hence querying the ‘necessity’ of a reference to the CJEU including in this particular context of Brexit (with the Court of Appeal now longer being able to refer to Luxembourg by the time the case would have reached it).

Phillips LJ holds [47] that the reference was not necessary in light of CJEU authority on that element of necessity and that the judge should not have made it. Yet under the EU rule of law, a Court of Appeal cannot set aside the reference: [56] all the CA can do is ask the judge to reconsider, with [60] a call for fast-tracking in the event the CJEU might  rule before the judge withdraws the reference: if that latter is what he would be minded to do.

An interesting EU institutional law issue.

Geert.

 

 

One Reply to “A further Prestige instalment, this time on the powers of first instance judges to refer to Luxembourg and the, curtailed, authority of the Court of Appeal to stop them.”

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