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Document 62010CJ0584

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber), 18 July 2013.
European Commission and Others v Yassin Abdullah Kadi.
Appeal — Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) — Restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Freezing of funds and economic resources of a person included in a list drawn up by a body of the United Nations — Listing of that person’s name in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Action for annulment — Fundamental rights — Rights of the defence — Principle of effective judicial protection — Principle of proportionality — Right to respect for property — Obligation to state reasons.
Joined Cases C‑584/10 P, C‑593/10 P and C‑595/10 P.

Digital reports (Court Reports - general)

Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P and C-595/10 P

European Commission and Others

v

Yassin Abdullah Kadi

‛Appeal — Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) — Restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Freezing of funds and economic resources of a person included in a list drawn up by a body of the United Nations — Listing of that person’s name in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Action for annulment — Fundamental rights — Rights of the defence — Principle of effective judicial protection — Principle of proportionality — Right to respect for property — Obligation to state reasons’

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber), 18 July 2013

  1. Legal proceedings — Request that the oral procedure be reopened — Application to lodge observations on points of law raised by the Opinion of the Advocate General — Conditions of reopening oral procedure

    (Art. 252, second para., TFEU; Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, Art. 83)

  2. European Union — Judicial review of the legality of the acts of the institutions — Act implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions — Whether that act has immunity from jurisdiction — None

    (Arts 263 TFEU and 347 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  3. Public international law — Charter of the United Nations — Security Council Resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations — Obligation on the European Union to use its powers with due regard to those resolutions — Scope — Act implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions — Whether that act has immunity from jurisdiction — None

    (Arts 263 TFEU and 347 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; (Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  4. European Union law — Principles — Rights of the defence — Right to effective judicial protection — Restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Obligation to disclose individual and specific reasons justifying the decisions taken — Obligation to enable the person concerned effectively to make known his views on the grounds advanced against him

    (Arts 220(1) TFEU and 296 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  5. European Union — Judicial review of the legality of the acts of the institutions — Regulation imposing restrictive measures against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Extent of review

    (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 47; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  1.  See the text of the judgment.

    (see paras 56-58)

  2.  Regulation No 1190/2008 amending Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban cannot be afforded any immunity from jurisdiction on the ground that its objective is to implement resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The factors which support that position are, essentially, bound up with the constitutional guarantee which is exercised, in a Union based on the rule of law, by judicial review of the lawfulness of all European Union measures, including those which implement an international law measure, in the light of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Union.

    That European Union measures implementing restrictive measures decided at international level enjoy no immunity from jurisdiction does not call into question the primacy of a Security Council resolution at the international level, but the requirement that the EU institutions should pay due regard to the institutions of the United Nations must not result in there being no review of the lawfulness of such European Union measures, in the light of the fundamental rights which are an integral part of the general principles of European Union law.

    (see paras 65-67)

  3.  See the text of the judgment.

    (see paras 66-68)

  4.  As regards a decision to maintain the listing of the name of an individual in Annex I to Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban, repealing Regulation No 467/2001, prohibiting the export of certain goods and services to Afghanistan, strengthening the flight ban and extending the freeze of funds and other financial resources in respect of the Taliban of Afghanistan, compliance with the dual obligation that, first, the competent European Union authority is required to disclose to the individual concerned the evidence against that person in the possession of that authority and relied on as the basis of its decision, and, second, is required to enable that individual effectively to make known his views on the grounds advanced against him, must, contrary to the position in respect of an initial listing, precede the adoption of that decision.

    When comments are made by the individual concerned on the summary of reasons, the competent European Union authority is under an obligation to examine, carefully and impartially, whether the alleged reasons are well founded, in the light of those comments and any exculpatory evidence provided with those comments, and to assess, in particular, whether it is necessary to seek the assistance of the Sanctions Committee and, through that committee, the Member of the United Nations which proposed the listing of the individual concerned on that committee’s Consolidated List. Lastly, without going so far as to require a detailed response to the comments made by the individual concerned, the obligation to state reasons laid down in Article 296 TFEU entails in all circumstances, not least when the reasons stated for the European Union measure represent reasons stated by an international body, that that statement of reasons identifies the individual, specific and concrete reasons why the competent authorities consider that the individual concerned must be subject to restrictive measures.

    (see paras 111-116)

  5.  The effectiveness of the judicial review guaranteed by Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires that, as part of the review of the lawfulness of the grounds which are the basis of the decision to list or to maintain the listing of a given person in Annex I to Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban, repealing Regulation No 467/2001, prohibiting the export of certain goods and services to Afghanistan, strengthening the flight ban and extending the freeze of funds and other financial resources in respect of the Taliban of Afghanistan, the Courts of the European Union are to ensure that that decision, which affects that person individually is taken on a sufficiently solid factual basis. That entails a verification of the factual allegations in the summary of reasons underpinning that decision, with the consequence that judicial review cannot be restricted to an assessment of the cogency in the abstract of the reasons relied on, but must concern whether those reasons, or, at the very least, one of those reasons, deemed sufficient in itself to support that decision, is substantiated. To that end, it is for the Courts of the European Union, in order to carry out that examination, to request the competent European Union authority, when necessary, to produce information or evidence, confidential or not, relevant to such an examination.

    If the competent European Union authority finds itself unable to comply with the request by the Courts of the European Union, it is then the duty of those Courts to base their decision solely on the material which has been disclosed to them. If that material is insufficient to allow a finding that a reason is well founded, the Courts of the European Union shall disregard that reason as a possible basis for the contested decision to list or maintain a listing. If, on the other hand, the competent European Union authority provides relevant information or evidence, the Courts of the European Union must then determine whether the facts alleged are made out in the light of that information or evidence and assess the probative value of that information or evidence in the circumstances of the particular case and in the light of any observations submitted in relation to them by, among others, the person concerned.

    Where overriding considerations to do with the security of the European Union or of its Member States or with the conduct of their international relations preclude the disclosure of some information or some evidence to the person concerned, it is none the less the task of the Courts of the European Union, before whom the secrecy or confidentiality of that information or evidence is no valid objection, to apply, in the course of the judicial review to be carried out, techniques which accommodate, on the one hand, legitimate security considerations about the nature and sources of information taken into account in the adoption of the act concerned and, on the other, the need sufficiently to guarantee to an individual respect for his procedural rights, such as the right to be heard and the requirement for an adversarial process.

    If the Courts of the European Union conclude that the reasons relied on by the competent authority do not preclude disclosure, at the very least partial disclosure, of the information or evidence concerned, it shall give the competent European Union authority the opportunity to make such disclosure to the person concerned. If that authority does not do so, the Courts of the European Union shall then undertake an examination of the lawfulness of the contested measure solely on the basis of the material which has been disclosed.

    On the other hand, if it turns out that the reasons relied on by the competent European Union authority do indeed preclude the disclosure to the person concerned of information or evidence produced before the Courts of the European Union, it is necessary to strike an appropriate balance between the requirements attached to the right to effective judicial protection, in particular respect for the principle of an adversarial process, and those flowing from the security of the European Union or its Member States or the conduct of their international relations.

    Having regard to the preventive nature of the restrictive measures at issue, if, in the course of its review of the lawfulness of the contested decision, the Courts of the European Union consider that, at the very least, one of the reasons mentioned in the summary provided by the Sanctions Committee is sufficiently detailed and specific, that it is substantiated and that it constitutes in itself sufficient basis to support that decision, the fact that the same cannot be said of other such reasons cannot justify the annulment of that decision. In the absence of one such reason, the Courts of the European Union will annul the contested decision.

    Such a judicial review is indispensable to ensure a fair balance between the maintenance of international peace and security and the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person concerned. Notwithstanding their preventive nature, the restrictive measures at issue have, as regards those rights and freedoms, a substantial negative impact related, first, to the serious disruption of the working and family life of the person concerned due to the restrictions on the exercise of his right to property which stem from their general scope combined, as in this case, with the actual duration of their application, and, on the other, the public opprobrium and suspicion of that person which those measures provoke.

    (see paras 98, 117, 121-122, 124, 126, 128, 131-135)

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Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P and C-595/10 P

European Commission and Others

v

Yassin Abdullah Kadi

‛Appeal — Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) — Restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Freezing of funds and economic resources of a person included in a list drawn up by a body of the United Nations — Listing of that person’s name in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 — Action for annulment — Fundamental rights — Rights of the defence — Principle of effective judicial protection — Principle of proportionality — Right to respect for property — Obligation to state reasons’

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber), 18 July 2013

  1. Legal proceedings — Request that the oral procedure be reopened — Application to lodge observations on points of law raised by the Opinion of the Advocate General — Conditions of reopening oral procedure

    (Art. 252, second para., TFEU; Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, Art. 83)

  2. European Union — Judicial review of the legality of the acts of the institutions — Act implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions — Whether that act has immunity from jurisdiction — None

    (Arts 263 TFEU and 347 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  3. Public international law — Charter of the United Nations — Security Council Resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations — Obligation on the European Union to use its powers with due regard to those resolutions — Scope — Act implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions — Whether that act has immunity from jurisdiction — None

    (Arts 263 TFEU and 347 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; (Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  4. European Union law — Principles — Rights of the defence — Right to effective judicial protection — Restrictive measures taken against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Obligation to disclose individual and specific reasons justifying the decisions taken — Obligation to enable the person concerned effectively to make known his views on the grounds advanced against him

    (Arts 220(1) TFEU and 296 TFEU; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  5. European Union — Judicial review of the legality of the acts of the institutions — Regulation imposing restrictive measures against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban — Extent of review

    (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 47; Council Regulation No 881/2002, Annex I; Commission Regulation No 1190/2008)

  1.  See the text of the judgment.

    (see paras 56-58)

  2.  Regulation No 1190/2008 amending Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban cannot be afforded any immunity from jurisdiction on the ground that its objective is to implement resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The factors which support that position are, essentially, bound up with the constitutional guarantee which is exercised, in a Union based on the rule of law, by judicial review of the lawfulness of all European Union measures, including those which implement an international law measure, in the light of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Union.

    That European Union measures implementing restrictive measures decided at international level enjoy no immunity from jurisdiction does not call into question the primacy of a Security Council resolution at the international level, but the requirement that the EU institutions should pay due regard to the institutions of the United Nations must not result in there being no review of the lawfulness of such European Union measures, in the light of the fundamental rights which are an integral part of the general principles of European Union law.

    (see paras 65-67)

  3.  See the text of the judgment.

    (see paras 66-68)

  4.  As regards a decision to maintain the listing of the name of an individual in Annex I to Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban, repealing Regulation No 467/2001, prohibiting the export of certain goods and services to Afghanistan, strengthening the flight ban and extending the freeze of funds and other financial resources in respect of the Taliban of Afghanistan, compliance with the dual obligation that, first, the competent European Union authority is required to disclose to the individual concerned the evidence against that person in the possession of that authority and relied on as the basis of its decision, and, second, is required to enable that individual effectively to make known his views on the grounds advanced against him, must, contrary to the position in respect of an initial listing, precede the adoption of that decision.

    When comments are made by the individual concerned on the summary of reasons, the competent European Union authority is under an obligation to examine, carefully and impartially, whether the alleged reasons are well founded, in the light of those comments and any exculpatory evidence provided with those comments, and to assess, in particular, whether it is necessary to seek the assistance of the Sanctions Committee and, through that committee, the Member of the United Nations which proposed the listing of the individual concerned on that committee’s Consolidated List. Lastly, without going so far as to require a detailed response to the comments made by the individual concerned, the obligation to state reasons laid down in Article 296 TFEU entails in all circumstances, not least when the reasons stated for the European Union measure represent reasons stated by an international body, that that statement of reasons identifies the individual, specific and concrete reasons why the competent authorities consider that the individual concerned must be subject to restrictive measures.

    (see paras 111-116)

  5.  The effectiveness of the judicial review guaranteed by Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires that, as part of the review of the lawfulness of the grounds which are the basis of the decision to list or to maintain the listing of a given person in Annex I to Regulation No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban, repealing Regulation No 467/2001, prohibiting the export of certain goods and services to Afghanistan, strengthening the flight ban and extending the freeze of funds and other financial resources in respect of the Taliban of Afghanistan, the Courts of the European Union are to ensure that that decision, which affects that person individually is taken on a sufficiently solid factual basis. That entails a verification of the factual allegations in the summary of reasons underpinning that decision, with the consequence that judicial review cannot be restricted to an assessment of the cogency in the abstract of the reasons relied on, but must concern whether those reasons, or, at the very least, one of those reasons, deemed sufficient in itself to support that decision, is substantiated. To that end, it is for the Courts of the European Union, in order to carry out that examination, to request the competent European Union authority, when necessary, to produce information or evidence, confidential or not, relevant to such an examination.

    If the competent European Union authority finds itself unable to comply with the request by the Courts of the European Union, it is then the duty of those Courts to base their decision solely on the material which has been disclosed to them. If that material is insufficient to allow a finding that a reason is well founded, the Courts of the European Union shall disregard that reason as a possible basis for the contested decision to list or maintain a listing. If, on the other hand, the competent European Union authority provides relevant information or evidence, the Courts of the European Union must then determine whether the facts alleged are made out in the light of that information or evidence and assess the probative value of that information or evidence in the circumstances of the particular case and in the light of any observations submitted in relation to them by, among others, the person concerned.

    Where overriding considerations to do with the security of the European Union or of its Member States or with the conduct of their international relations preclude the disclosure of some information or some evidence to the person concerned, it is none the less the task of the Courts of the European Union, before whom the secrecy or confidentiality of that information or evidence is no valid objection, to apply, in the course of the judicial review to be carried out, techniques which accommodate, on the one hand, legitimate security considerations about the nature and sources of information taken into account in the adoption of the act concerned and, on the other, the need sufficiently to guarantee to an individual respect for his procedural rights, such as the right to be heard and the requirement for an adversarial process.

    If the Courts of the European Union conclude that the reasons relied on by the competent authority do not preclude disclosure, at the very least partial disclosure, of the information or evidence concerned, it shall give the competent European Union authority the opportunity to make such disclosure to the person concerned. If that authority does not do so, the Courts of the European Union shall then undertake an examination of the lawfulness of the contested measure solely on the basis of the material which has been disclosed.

    On the other hand, if it turns out that the reasons relied on by the competent European Union authority do indeed preclude the disclosure to the person concerned of information or evidence produced before the Courts of the European Union, it is necessary to strike an appropriate balance between the requirements attached to the right to effective judicial protection, in particular respect for the principle of an adversarial process, and those flowing from the security of the European Union or its Member States or the conduct of their international relations.

    Having regard to the preventive nature of the restrictive measures at issue, if, in the course of its review of the lawfulness of the contested decision, the Courts of the European Union consider that, at the very least, one of the reasons mentioned in the summary provided by the Sanctions Committee is sufficiently detailed and specific, that it is substantiated and that it constitutes in itself sufficient basis to support that decision, the fact that the same cannot be said of other such reasons cannot justify the annulment of that decision. In the absence of one such reason, the Courts of the European Union will annul the contested decision.

    Such a judicial review is indispensable to ensure a fair balance between the maintenance of international peace and security and the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person concerned. Notwithstanding their preventive nature, the restrictive measures at issue have, as regards those rights and freedoms, a substantial negative impact related, first, to the serious disruption of the working and family life of the person concerned due to the restrictions on the exercise of his right to property which stem from their general scope combined, as in this case, with the actual duration of their application, and, on the other, the public opprobrium and suspicion of that person which those measures provoke.

    (see paras 98, 117, 121-122, 124, 126, 128, 131-135)

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