THE STANDING OF PRIVATE PARTIES TO CHALLENGE COMMUNITY MEASURES: HAS THE EUROPEAN COURT MISSED THE BOAT?
|Albertina Albors-Llorens a1|
a1 Lecturer in law, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Girton College. I am very grateful to Catherine Barnard, John Bell, Michael Dougan and Rosa Greaves for their comments on an earlier draft.
THIS article will consider recent case-law developments concerning
the standing conditions that natural and legal persons must satisfy in order to bring annulment
proceedings against acts of EC institutions. These conditions, set out in Article 230(4) EC,
have been so narrowly interpreted by the European Court of Justice for over forty years that
private parties have rarely been able to surmount this formidable admissibility barrier when
challenging Community acts. In March 2002, Advocate General Jacobs delivered a compelling
Opinion in Unión
(UPA) v. Council, where
he suggested a new interpretation of the test of individual concern, which stands at the core
of the locus
standi requirements in Article 230(4) EC. Only a few weeks later the
Court of First Instance dramatically departed from previous case law and re-defined that same
test in Jégo
Quéré v. Commission, although it did so
in narrower terms than those proposed by Advocate General Jacobs. However, any hopes that the
time was ripe for a re-examination of the case law on individual concern, were dashed by the
European Court in its judgment in UPA v. Council. The Court did not follow
either the suggestions of Advocate General Jacobs or of the Court of First Instance, stating
instead that it was for the Member States acting in the European Council and not for the Court,
to reform the conditions of admissibility set out in Article 230(4) EC.