Case C-129/00, Commission v. Repubblica Italiana, judgment of 9 December 2003, Full Court, nyr

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Series Details Vol.42, No.3, June 2005, p829-849
Publication Date June 2005
ISSN 0165-0750
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Publishers Abstract:
The judgment annotated here, delivered only two months after Kobler, deals further with State liability for an action or omission of the judiciary. On this occasion, the Court considered that, by failing to amend a piece of domestic legislation on the rules governing repayment of charges levied in breach of Community law, Italy failed to fulfil its Treaty obligations. Although the provision concerned was deemed to be per se neutral (i.e. not in contrast with EC principles) it had nevertheless been construed and applied by the administrative authorities, and a substantial proportion of the courts, including the Corte Suprema di Cassazione (Supreme Court of Cassation), in such a way that it was excessively difficult for undertakings to recover the unduly paid sums. This comment reconsiders the most significant case law on repayment of taxes levied in breach of Community law, with specific reference to the Italian precedents making up the background to this case. It focuses on a number of relevant legal issues covered by the judgment at hand. It attempts to illustrate how the Court of Justice strikes a balance between effectiveness and procedural autonomy in this specific field of law.

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