The Factortame Case-Fishing in Troubled Waters?
King's College Law Journal 2 K.C.L.J. 7 (1991-1992)
Posted: 29 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 15, 1992
This paper discusses the 1990 Factortame case, a landmark case on British constitutional law. In Factortame, Spanish fishermen claimed that the criteria for registration of vessels under the UK Merchant Shipping Act 1988 were discriminatory and incompatible with the EC Treaty. A preliminary reference was made to determine whether the British statute was in fact in breach of EC law.
This case made legal history in the UK, and was the first time that UK courts held that they had power to restrain the application of an Act of Parliament pending trial and ultimately to disapply that Act when it was found to be contrary to EC law.
In this case, Lord Bridge, giving the judgment for the House of Lords famously said that “Thus there is nothing in any way novel in according supremacy to rules of Community law in areas to which they apply and to insist that, in the protection of rights under Community law, national courts must not be prohibited by rules of national law from granting interim relief in appropriate cases is no more than a logical recognition of that supremacy."
Keywords: EU Law, EEC, National Sovereignty, Supremacy of EU Law, UK Constitutional Law, EU Remedies, Common Fisheries Policy, UK and EU
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation