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European Court of Justice fixes hearing date for EU ban case on LTTE

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2014 09:01 No Comment]

Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) is scheduled to hear the case “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) vs Council of the European Union” (Case T-208/11-9) on 26 February 2014, legal sources in Europe said. The case was filed in 2011 by Victor Koppe, the Amsterdam-based Bohler advocaten attorney and the ECJ determined that he could legally represent the Europe-based political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The demand for annulment of the inclusion of LTTE in the EU’s terrorism list is partly to stop the prosecution of Tamils in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, and other member countries, Mr Koppe has told earlier.

In the present case the applicant seeks the partial annulment of Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 in so far as the name of the applicant is maintained on the list of natural and legal persons, entities and bodies whose funds and economic resources are frozen in accordance with this provision.

In support of the action, the applicant relies on six pleas in law:

  1. First plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant and/or the Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 is inapplicable due to a failure to take regard of the law of armed conflict.

  2. Second plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant since the applicant cannot be qualified as a terrorist organisation as defined in Article 1(3) of Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP. In this regard the applicant submits that its activities do not amount to offences under international humanitarian law and national criminal law, which does not apply to situations of armed conflict.

  3. Third plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant because no decision by a competent authority, as required by Article 1(4) of Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP, has been taken.

  4. Fourth plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant since the Council did not conduct any review as required by Article 1(6) of Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP. The applicant contends that, as it no longer uses military means to achieve its goals and is no longer directly active in Sri Lanka, such a review would have led to the conclusion that it must be removed from the list.

  5. Fifth plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant as it does not comply with the obli gation to state reasons in violation of Article 296 TFUE.

  6. Sixth plea in law, alleging that the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011 is void in as far as it concerns the applicant because it infringes upon the applicant’s right of defence, the applicant’s right to effective judicial protection.

The ECJ has given judgments in the fields of equal treatment and social rights, fundamental rights and freedom of movement of persons.

The EU Court of Justice also settles legal disputes between EU governments and EU institutions. Individuals, companies or organisations can bring cases before the Court if they feel their rights have been infringed by an EU institution.

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