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Case law concerning damages

Case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union connected with claims for damages relating to breaches of EU law by Member States

In its judgment of 19 November 1991 in the Francovich case, the Court of Justice of the European Union established the principle according to which 'the Member States are obliged to make good loss and damage caused to individuals by breaches of Community law for which they can be held responsible'.

In Section '1.3 Training in Community law' of its communication of 5 September 2007 entitled 'A Europe of Results – Applying Community Law' (COM(2007)502), the Commission undertook to publish an explanatory document on the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Unionrelating to claims for damages for breaches of Community law by Member States.

The purpose of this document pdf  is to provide a survey of the Court's decisions on the issue by explaining the Francovich judgment, the conditions under which a Member State incurs liability and the notion of a State authority whose act or omission is responsible for a breach of Community law. The document goes on to examine how national courts have implemented Member State liability; the legal remedies available; the limitation periods applicable to actions for damages brought by individuals; the authority charged with making reparation; and the adequacy of the reparation.

Please note that the term 'Community law' as used in the document should be taken to refer to 'EU law' since the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.