EU

ECJ JUDGMENT ON EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF PREGNANT WORKERS

<p>Case C-63/08 Pontin v Comalux, preliminary reference. Pregnant workers must enjoy effective judicial protection of their rights under Community law. Where the only remedy available under national legislation to a worker dismissed during pregnancy does not provide adequate time-limits within which to bring proceedings, that legislation introduces less favourable treatment linked to pregnancy and constitutes discrimination against female employees </p>
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PROTOCOL ON THE LAW APPLICABLE TO MAINTENANCE OBLIGATIONS

<p>The EU is taking the steps needed for it to sign up to the Hague Protocol of 2007, which would mean that EC Regulation No 4/2009 on jurisdiction and enforcement of Maintenance Obligations becomes applicable either on 18 June 2011 or from the date of application of the Hague Protocol. </p> <p>See: <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do">http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do</a>pubRef=//EP//NONSGML+COMPARL+PE428.221+01+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN </p>
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LISBON TREATY RATIFICATION

<p>The European Council, meeting in late October, agreed to add a protocol to the Lisbon Treaty which will allow the Czech Republic to opt out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, just as the UK and Poland have done. This will mean that the Charter applies only to EU, and not national, legislation, in those Member States. Left with no valid excuse not to, the Czech President signed the Treaty on 3 November, bringing the ratification process to completion in all 27 Member States. Thus, the Treaty of Lisbon should enter into force by the year’s end. </p>
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ENHANCED PATENT SYSTEM IN EUROPE

<p>The Swedish Presidency of the EU has been enthusiastic in its attempts to secure agreement on a Unified Patent Litigation System, including the planned adoption of Council Conclusions on an Enhanced Patent System in Europe. See: <a href="http://register.consilium">http://register.consilium</a>.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st14/st14040.en09.pdf </p>
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GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL TO EXECUTE AN EAW – MEMBER STATE DISCRETION

<p>On 6 October 2009, the ECJ gave judgment in Case C-123/08, an application for a preliminary ruling concerning the grounds for refusal to execute a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), and the discretion the Member States have in implementation thereof. (Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA). See: <a href="http://curia.europa.eu/">http://curia.europa.eu/</a>jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-123/08  EU – US </p>
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BRUSSELS I REGULATION REVIEW

<p>The EU is currently conducting a 5-year review of the operation of the Brussels I Regulation, 44/2001 on “jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters”. In October, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (“JURI”) held a hearing at which Alexander Layton QC was invited to speak on behalf of the Bar. The EP is working on its report. </p> <p>See: <a href="http://www.europarl">http://www.europarl</a>.europa.eu/activities/committees/hearingsCom.do?language=EN&body=JURI. The view of the Council will be crucial. </p>
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ROME I CORRIGENDUM – LINGUISTIC ERROR RE ITS APPLICATION IN TIME

<p>The wording of Article 28 of the Rome I regulation is being amended from “This Regulation shall apply to contracts concluded after 17 December 2009" to say “This Regulation shall apply to contracts concluded as from 17 December 2009." </p>
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PLANNED COMMISSION CONSULTATION ON THE SERVICES DIRECTIVE

<p>The Commission intends to consult interested parties in the first half of 2010, regarding evaluation of changes introduced in the regulatory framework applicable to services, to comply with the Services Directive (2006/123/EC). The directive is supposed to be fully implemented by the Member States by 28 December 2009. </p>
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RIGHTS OF PASSENGERS TRAVELLING BY SEA, WATERWAYS, BUS AND COACH

<p>The EU is in the process of agreeing two regulations concerning the Rights of passengers, the first when travelling by sea and inland waterway; the second by bus and coach (procedure reference COD (2008) 0246 and (2008)0237 respectively). The proposals relate to coordination between national authorities, but also deal with issues of compensation and damages. The Council has reached political agreement on a common position on the waterways proposal, </p> <p>see:<br /><a href="http://register.consil">http://register.consil</a>ium. europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st14/st14354.en09.pdf </p>
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COMPETITION – DAMAGES IN ANTITRUST CASES

<p>The Commission’s much-anticipated proposal for a directive on antitrust damages (several incarnations of which have been circulating this year) received a near-fatal blow from the European Parliament in October. It remains to be seen whether it can be revived once a new Commission is in place next year. </p>
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