The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

For queries and clarifications – please contact

EC Liability in the Absence of Unlawfulness – The FIAMM Case –

Katrin Arend



While the European Community has been repeatedly held liable for its non-contractual unlawful acts on the basis of Art. 288.2 EC,[1] the European courts have long been reluctant to find explicit wording that would establish or reject a liability regime for unlawful EC action.[2] Finally in FIAMM, the Court of First Instance (CFI) took the decisive step of accepting such liability in principle and developed the criteria for its application.[3] The judgement of the CFI represents a remarkable innovation in two respects. First, it makes reviewable all conduct of the Community and its institutions for the purposes of compensation and thus opens the door to a vast area of liability. Second, it is the very first indication that the EC is to pay compensation for behaviour which is deemed lawful (merely) from the European perspective. In other words, the CFI has undercut the European sovereignty shield that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) so carefully installed in order to protect the European legal order from being pierced by Public International Law. As remarkable and thought provoking this suggestion is, the door has been shut by the ECJ on its recent review of the FIAMM decision. In its judgement of 9 September 2008, the Court made it explicitly clear that as of now, there is no such liability of the European Community.[4]

For many, the decision comes a no surprise; for the European industries subject to WTO retaliatory measures like FIAMM, it does not worsen their already low standing before EC courts. Why the judgement of the ECJ must, in fact, be welcomed and preferred to that of the CFI is laid down in the following.



[1] Already the ECJ in Lütticke v. Commission, C-4/69, (1971) E.C.R. 325; Zuckerfabrik Schöppenstedt v. Council, C-5/71, (1971) E.C.R. 975; HNL v. Council and Commission, Joined C-83, 94/76, 4, 15, 40/77, (1978) E.C.R. 1209; Mulder et al. v. Council and Commission, Joined C-104/89, 37/90, (1992) E.C.R. I-3061; also the Court of First Instance in African Fruit Company v. Council and Commission, Joined T-64/01, 65/01, (2004) E.C.R. II-521.

[2] See, for instance, Compagnie d’approvisionnement v. Commision, Joined C-9, 11/71, (1972) E.C.R. 391; Développement SA et Clemessy v. Commission, C-267/82, (1986) E.C.R. 1907; Dorsch Consult v. Council, C-237/98 P, (2000) E.C.R. I-4549 and Förde-Reederei v. Council and Commission, C-170/00, (2002) E.C.R. II-515.

[3] FIAMM, T-69/00, (2005) E.C.R. II-5393, paras 157, 158.

[4] FIAMM, Joined C-120, 121/06 P, para. 176.


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