Skip to main content

Factortame Judgment

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 7 March 1996

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the judgment by the European Court of Justice in case C48/93 (

Factortame III).

The judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case 48/93 was delivered on Tuesday 5th March 1996 and runs to 22 pages. The Court concluded that the principle that member states are obliged to make good damage caused to individuals by breaches of Community law attributable to the state is applicable where the national legislature was responsible for the breach in question and where the breach is sufficiently serious. The Court also concluded that it will be for the national courts to decide whether such a breach has occurred and what damages, if any, are payable.These conclusions and the Court's judgment will be the subject of detailed scrutiny in the weeks ahead.The judgment is a stage in the action brought by Factortame Ltd. and others in the UK Divisional Court against Her Majesty's Government for damages in respect of the losses incurred during the period they were excluded from the UK Fishing Vessel Register and unable to fish. In considering this action, the UK Divisional Court asked for guidance from the European Court as to whether in principle member states are liable to pay damages for losses arising from measures which were held in breach of treaty obligations. It will be for the Factortame applicants to decide whether and how to proceed with their action for damages before the UK courts.