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European Observer on fundamental right's respect

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Case Law C-305/05 (26/06/2007)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: Euopean Communities' Court of Justice

Date: 06/26/2007

Subject: The Court confirms the legality of the directive on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering. The Court rules that the obligations of information and of cooperation with the authorities responsible for combating money laundering imposed on lawyers do not infringe the right to a fair trial since these obligations are applicable only in so far as they advise their client in the preparation or execution of certain transactions of a financial nature or concerning real estate, or when they act on behalf of and for their client in any financial or real estate transaction. The nature of such activities is such that they take place in a context with no link to judicial proceedings and, consequently, those activities fall outside the scope of the right to a fair trial. Effectiveness of Charter : The Court rules that the right to a fair trial constitutes a fundamental right which the European Union respects as a general principle under Article 6(2) EU. The Court refers to Article 6 of the ECHR, but not to articles 47 and 48 of Charter of fundamental rights, which is cited by applicants and by the Advocate General. He concluded that, even though that Charter cannot in itself constitute a sufficient legal basis for the creation of rights capable of being directly invoked by individuals, it is nevertheless not without effect as a criterion for the interpretation of the instruments protecting the rights mentioned in Article 6(2) EU. The Advocate General maintained that the Charter may create the presumption of the existence of a right and provides a particularly useful instrument for determining the content, scope, and meaning to be given to that right.

Parties: Ordine degli avvocati francofoni e germanofoni, Ordine francese degli avvocati del foro di Bruxelles, Ordine degli avvocati fiamminghi, Ordine olandese degli avvocati del foro di Bruxelles c/ Consiglio dei ministri

Classification: Justice - Art. 47 Fair trial, public hearing - Art. 48 Rights of defence

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Notices: In the "COMMENTS": "Professional secrecy and Right to a fair trial" - Valentina Bazzocchi