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Omega 判決

リストマーク Case C-27/00 and C-122/00, Omega [2002] ECR I-2569

2002年3月12日 判決

 イギリスとアイルランドの国内裁判所より 先行判断(EC条約第234条)を求められたケースで、Omega (国内裁判所の事件における原告)は、EC裁判所の Portugal v Council 判決 を批判している。同判決において、EC裁判所は、WTO諸協定に基づき、EC法の審査をすることはできないと述べているが、その際、WTO諸協定は相互性を基礎にしており、この点で、ECによって締結された協定とは異なることが指摘されている(para. 42)。しかし、Omega によれば、すべての国際協定は、相互性に基づいているので、EC裁判所の判断には説得力がないとされる。

 この点について、EC裁判所は、Omega は Portugal v Council 判決の基本事項を正しく理解していないと述べた上で、WTO諸協定に照らし、EC法の適法性を審査することができないのは、立法・行政機関に 交渉権限 が与えられているためであることを強調している。EC裁判所は以下のように判示している。


85 Omega criticises, first, the judgment in Case C-149/96 Portugal v Council [1999] ECR I-8395, in which the Court held (paragraph 47) that the WTO agreements are not in principle among the rules in the light of which the Court is to review the lawfulness of measures adopted by the Community institutions.

86 According to Omega, in examining the compatibility of Community measures with international agreements, the Court distinguishes, in paragraph 42 of Portugal v Council, according to whether they are based on reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements or not. Omega considers, however, that that distinction is unhelpful, as all international agreements have such a basis.

87 Omega submits, second, in the alternative, that Article 2 of the ATBT is sufficiently precise to have direct effect. As regards the compatibility of the Regulation with that provision, it observes that the criterion of by-pass ratio, fixed at 3 in the Regulation, disregards several provisions of Article 2 of the ATBT.

88 It submits, to begin with, that Article 2(2) of the Regulation is a technical regulation within the meaning of the ATBT. Next, paragraph 2.4 of the ATBT provides that, where technical regulations are required and relevant international standards exist, Members are to use them, or the relevant parts of them, as a basis for their technical regulations. Finally, paragraph 2.8 of the ATBT urges Members, when drawing up technical regulations, to base them not on the design and technical characteristics of the products but rather on their performance, contrary to what the Regulation provides.

89 On this point, suffice it to say that Omega misunderstands the basis of the Court's case-law. The decisive factor here is that the resolution of disputes concerning WTO law is based, in part, on negotiations between the contracting parties. Withdrawal of unlawful measures is indeed the solution recommended by WTO law, but other solutions are also authorised, for example settlement, payment of compensation or suspension of concessions (see, to that effect, Portugal v Council, paragraphs 36 to 39).

90 In those circumstances, to require the judicial organs to refrain from applying rules of domestic law which are inconsistent with the WTO agreements would have the consequence of depriving the legislative or executive organs of the contracting parties of the possibility of finding negotiated solutions, even on a temporary basis (see, to that effect, Portugal v Council, paragraph 40).

91 It follows that the WTO agreements, interpreted in the light of their subject-matter and purpose, do not determine the appropriate legal means of ensuring that they are applied in good faith in the domestic legal order of the contracting parties (see Portugal v Council, paragraph 41).

92 It is common ground, moreover, that some of the contracting parties, which are among the most important trading partners of the Community, have concluded from the subject-matter and purpose of the WTO agreements that they are not among the rules in the light of which their judicial organs are to review the lawfulness of their rules of domestic law (see Portugal v Council, paragraph 43).

93 It follows from all the above considerations that, having regard to their nature and structure, the WTO agreements are not in principle among the rules in the light of which the Court is to review the lawfulness of acts of the Community institutions (see Portugal v Council, paragraph 47).

リストマーク Alber 法務官の意見は こちら

 WTO法に合致しないと認定された措置の廃止に代わる措置(紛争解決方法)として、Portugal v Council 判決では、代償の提供のみが挙げられていたが(para. 39)、上掲の判決文では、その他に、和解(settlement/Vergleich)や譲許の停止(suspension of concessions)が挙げられている。譲許の停止は、WTO違反国に対する制裁に当たる。つまり、紛争当事国間で交渉がまとまらないときに講じられる措置である。そのため、交渉による代替的な紛争解決方法の例としては適切ではない。なお、違反状態を除去したり、代償を提供する代わりに、相手国の制裁を甘受することも許されるかどうかについては、学説上、見解は一致していないが、EC裁判所はこれを肯定するものと解される。