Direct Effect Essay

Horizontal direct effect is a legal doctrine developed by the CJEU whereby individuals can rely on the direct effect of provisions in the treaties, which confer individual rights, in order to make claims against other private individuals before national courts.Vertical direct effect concerns the relationship between EU law and national law, and the State’s obligation to ensure its legislation is compatible with EU law.Citizens can apply it in claims against the State (or against an emanation of the State) as defined in Foster v. Following this case, the criteria laid down to define the emanations of the State could include privatised industries or services that formerly provided public services.Direct effect can apply both horizontally and vertically, with the distinction based on against whom the right is being enforced, and the nature of the right itself.Where rights conferred by a directive are violated by the State or by emanations of the State, a citizen can exercise vertical direct effect.By virtue of the doctrine of the direct effect of treaty provisions, individuals can rely directly on EU law before their national courts.There is no need for the implementation of EU law by Member States through national law.The CJEU held that the doctrine of direct effect did apply to directives.However, directives had only vertical direct effect (see above).According to Article 288 TFEU, ‘a directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods’.Therefore, the CJEU’s decision to extend the principle of direct effect to directives was crucial.


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