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Judgment of the Court of 28 June 1955. - Associazione Industrie Siderurgiche Italiane (ASSIDER) v High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. - Interpretation of the judgment in Case 2/54. - Case 5-55.



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Summary

Parties

Subject of the case

Grounds

Decision on costs

Operative part

Keywords



++++

1 . INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT - ADMISSIBILITY - RIGHT OF ACTION

( STATUTE, ART . 37 ).

2 . INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT - ADMISSIBILITY - CONCEPT OF " IN DOUBT "

( STATUTE, ART . 37 ).

3 . INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT - ADMISSIBILITY - PARTS OF A JUDGMENT CAPABLE OF BEING INTERPRETED

( STATUTE, ART . 37 ).

4 . INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT - WELL FOUNDED - OBSCURITIES IN THE JUDGMENT TO BE INTERPRETED

( STATUTE, ART . 37 ).

5 . INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT - WELL-FOUNDED - LIMITS OF RIGHT OF INTERPRETATION

( STATUTE, ART . 37 ).

Summary



1 . IN THE EVENT OF SEVERAL APPLICATIONS MADE AGAINST THE SAME DECISION OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY AND WHERE AS A RESULT OF ONE OF THESE APPLICATIONS THE DECISION IS ANNULLED, THE OTHER APPLICANTS HAVE EACH THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT IN SO FAR AS THE LATTER HAS RULED ON THE LEGAL QUESTION WHICH THEY HAVE ALSO RAISED .

THIS IS ALSO SO WHERE ONE OF THE PREVIOUS APPLICATIONS AGAINST THE DECISION HAS BEEN DECLARED WELL FOUNDED .

2 . IT IS ENOUGH FOR IT TO BE SAID TO BE " IN DOUBT " WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 37 OF THE STATUTE THAT THE PARTIES SHOULD INTERPRET THE JUDGMENT DIFFERENTLY .

3 . APART FROM THE OPERATIVE PART, THE GROUNDS WHICH DETERMINE IT MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF INTERPRETATION . THIS IS NOT SO OF PASSAGES WHICH ARE ANCILLARY AND COMPLETE OR EXPLAIN THE BASIC GROUNDS .

4 . THE APPLICATION FOR INTERPRETATION OF A JUDGMENT IS NOT WELL FOUNDED WHERE THE JUDGMENT OF WHICH INTERPRETATION IS SOUGHT CONTAINS NO OBSCURITIES .

5 . IN A JUDGMENT OF INTERPRETATION THE COURT CAN ONLY MAKE CLEAR THE MEANING AND SCOPE OF A PREVIOUS JUDGMENT; IT CANNOT DEAL WITH PROBLEMS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN SETTLED BY THIS JUDGMENT .

Parties



IN CASE 5/55,

ASSOCIAZIONE INDUSTRIE SIDERURGICHE ITALIANE ( ASSIDER ), A COMPANY WHOSE REGISTERED OFFICE IS IN MILAN, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, DANDOLO FRANCESCO REBUA, ASSISTED BY CESARE GRASSETTI, PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MILAN, OF THE MILAN BAR AND THE CORTE DI CASSAZIONE, ROME, WITH AN ADDRESS FOR SERVICE IN LUXEMBOURG CARE OF GUIDO RIETTI, 15 BOULEVARD ROOSEVELT, APPLICANT,

V

HIGH AUTHORITY OF THE EUROPEAN COAL AND STEEL COMMUNITY, REPRESENTED BY ITS LEGAL ADVISER, NICOLA CATALANO, ACTING AS AGENT, WITH AN ADDRESS FOR SERVICE IN LUXEMBOURG AT ITS OFFICES, 2 PLACE DE METZ, DEFENDANT,

Subject of the case



APPLICATION FOR AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF 21 DECEMBER 1954 IN CASE 2/54,

Grounds



P . 140

1 . ADMISSIBILITY

I . THE APPLICATION, FOR THE BRINGING OF WHICH NO TIME-LIMIT IS PRESCRIBED, COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ARTICLE 77 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COURT .

II . ARTICLE 37 OF THE PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE PROVIDES THAT IF THE MEANING OR SCOPE OF A JUDGMENT IS " IN DOUBT ", THE COURT SHALL CONSTRUE IT ON APPLICATION BY ANY PARTY OR ANY INSTITUTION OF THE COMMUNITY ESTABLISHING AN INTEREST THEREIN .

ARE THESE CONDITIONS FULFILLED IN THE PRESENT CASE?

1 . HAS THE APPLICANT ESTABLISHED AN INTEREST IN THE INTERPRETATION?

IN ITS LETTER OF 28 FEBRUARY 1955 TO THE APPLICANT THE HIGH AUTHORITY REFERRED EXPRESSLY TO THE JUDGMENT GIVEN IN CASE 2/54 TO JUSTIFY ITS INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS, CLAIMING THAT ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS WITHIN THE ITALIAN MARKET MAY APPLY ONLY THEIR OWN PRICE-LIST AND MAY NOT ALIGN THEIR PRICES EITHER ON THE PRICES OF OTHER UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY OR EVEN ON THE PRICES OF THEIR NATIONAL COMPETITORS .

P . 141

THE APPLICANT CONSIDERS THAT THE HIGH AUTHORITY WRONGLY DREW THESE CONCLUSIONS FROM THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 SINCE THE JUDGMENT WAS CONCERNED ONLY WITH THE PROTECTION OF ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS AGAINST COMPETITION FROM NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY .

THE QUESTION WHICH OF THESE TWO INTERPRETATION ACCORDS WITH THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 DIRECTLY CONCERNS THE UNDERTAKINGS WHICH BELONG TO THE APPLICANT ASSOCIATION . THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION CAN BE GIVEN ONLY BY WAY OF INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT AND THE APPLICANT HAS NO OTHER MEANS OF ASCERTAINING THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION .

THE APPLICANT HAS THUS ESTABLISHED ITS INTEREST IN ASKING FOR AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT IN QUESTION .

2 . WAS THE APPLICANT A " PARTY " TO CASE 2/54 OF THE JUDGMENT IN WHICH IT SEEKS INTERPRETATION?

APART FROM THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY THE PARTIES TO AN ACTION HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUEST AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH DECIDES THE ACTION .

THE APPLICANT WAS A " PARTY " IN CASE 3/54 AGAINST THE HIGH AUTHORITY BUT IT IS NOT AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT GIVEN IN THAT ACTION WHICH IS SOUGHT .

THE APPLICANT IS SEEKING AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT GIVEN IN CASE 2/54 ( GOVERNMENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC V HIGH AUTHORITY ), AN ACTION IN WHICH THE APPLICANT WAS NOT A PARTY BUT THE JUDGMENT IN WHICH IS ALLEGED BY THE APPLICANT TO HAVE BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE JUDGMENT GIVEN IN CASE 3/54 WHICH TERMINATED ITS ACTION .

THIS CLAIM BY THE APPLICANT IS NOT VALID . THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 3/54 ( SECTION 2 ( 1 ) OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT ) REFERS SOLELY TO THE JUDGMENT GIVEN IN CASE 1/54 ( FRENCH GOVERNMENT V HIGH AUTHORITY ): IT STATES WITH REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 1 OF DECISION NO 2/54 OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY THAT NO DECISION WAS CALLED FOR BECAUSE THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 1/54 HAD ALREADY ANNULLED THAT ARTICLE FOR ALL PURPOSES . THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 3/54 REFERS TO CASE 2/54, ITALIAN GOVERNMENT V HIGH AUTHORITY, ONLY IN SECTION 2, NOS 3 AND 4 OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT, BUT THIS REFERENCE DOES NOT RELATE TO THE GROUNDS CONTAINED IN THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 IN SECTION II, NO 11 OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT ON THE NULLITY OF ARTICLE 1 OF DECISION NO 2/54 OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY BY REASON OF INFRINGEMENT OF ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS . THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 3/54 THEREFORE DOES NOT REFER TO THESE GROUNDS, THE INTERPRETATION OF WHICH IS ALONE IN QUESTION HERE .

THE COURT HOWEVER CONCURS IN PRINCIPLE WITH THE OPINION OF THE ADVOCATE GENERAL AND RECOGNIZES THAT THE APPLICANT IS ENTITLED TO ASK FOR AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 ITALIAN GOVERNMENT V HIGH AUTHORITY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS :

WHERE SEVERAL ACTIONS ARE BROUGHT AGAINST THE SAME DECISION OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY AND WHERE, AS THE RESULT OF ONE OF THOSE ACTIONS, THE DECISION IS ANNULLED, THE APPLICANTS IN THE OTHER ACTIONS MAY BE REGARDED AS " PARTIES " TO THE ACTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 37 OF THE PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE COURT, SUBJECT EXPRESSLY TO THE CONDITION THAT THE APPLICANT HAS CITED IN HIS PREVIOUS APPLICATION THE SAME GROUND ON WHICH THE JUDGMENT TO BE INTERPRETED HAS ANNULLED THE DECISION OR AS IN THE PRESENT CASE HAS DECLARED THE APPLICATION WELL FOUNDED . EACH OF THESE PARTIES IS THUS ENTITLED TO ASK FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH ANNULS THE DECISION OR DELCARES ONE OF THE OTHER ACTIONS WELL FOUNDED .

P . 142

CASE 2/54, ITALIAN GOVERNMENT V HIGH AUTHORITY, WAS DECLARED WELL FOUNDED AS FAR AS ARTICLE 1 OF DECISION NO 2/54 OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY WAS CONCERNED BECAUSE THAT ARTICLE INFRINGED ARTICLE 30 ( 2 ) OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS . THE APPLICANT MADE THE SAME CLAIM IN CASE 3/54, AN APPLICATION FOR ANNULMENT WHICH IT HAD PREVIOUSLY BROUGHT . IN ITS JUDGMENT IN CASE 3/54 THE COURT ACCEPTED THE ADMISSIBILITY OF THE APPLICATION WITHOUT CONSIDERING OR DECIDING UPON THE VALIDITY OF THE CLAIM OF MISUSE OF POWERS RELIED ON BY THE APPLICANT OR, MOREOVER, THE QUESTION WHETHER THE APPLICANT WAS ENTITLED TO RELY ON AN INFRINGEMENT OF THE LAW . THE FACT THAT THE COURT DID NOT RESOLVE THESE QUESTIONS CANNOT PREJUDICE THE RIGHT OF THE APPLICANT TO MAKE ITS APPLICATION FOR AN INTERPRETATION .

THE APPLICANT MAY THEREFORE BE REGARDED AS BEING A PARTY TO THE JUDGMENT IN QUESTION .

3 . IS THE MEANING OR SCOPE OF THE JUDGMENT " IN DOUBT "?

ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 37 OF THE PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE, AN APPLICATION FOR INTERPRETATION OF A JUDGMENT ASSUMES THAT THE MEANING OR SCOPE OF A JUDGMENT IS IN DOUBT . THE TERM " IN DOUBT " IS GENERAL; IT IS LESS NARROW THAN THE TERM " CONTESTATION " IN THE FRENCH VERSION OF ARTICLE 60 OF THE STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE . FOR AN APPLICATION FOR INTERPRETATION TO BE ADMISSIBLE IT IS ENOUGH THAT THE PARTIES IN QUESTION GIVE DIFFERENT MEANINGS TO THE WORDING OF THAT JUDGMENT . THIS IS THE POSITION IN THE PRESENT CASE .

4 . WHICH ARE THE PARTS OF THE TEXT OF A JUDGMENT WHICH MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF INTERPRETATION?

IT IS NECESSARY TO DEFINE THE PARTS OF THE TEXT OF A JUDGMENT WHICH MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF INTERPRETATION . OBVIOUSLY THEY CAN ONLY BE THOSE WHICH EXPRESS THE DECISION OF THE COURT ON THE MATTER SUBMITTED TO IT : THE OPERATIVE PART AND SUCH OF THE GROUNDS AS DETERMINE IT AND ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THAT PURPOSE; THOSE ARE THE PARTS OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH CONSTITUTE THE ACTUAL DECISION .

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE COURT IS NOT CALLED UPON TO INTERPRET ANCILLARY MATTER WHICH SUPPLEMENTS OR EXPLAINS THOSE BASIC GROUNDS .

IN THE PRESENT CASE ALL THE GROUNDS STATED IN SECTION II, NO 11, OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 MUST BE REGARDED AS BEING ESSENTIAL AND ON THIS ACCOUNT CAPABLE OF FORMING THE SUBJECT OF AN INTERPRETATION .

P . 143

FOR ALL THESE REASONS THE APPLICATION IS ADMISSIBLE .

2 . SUBSTANCE

THE COURT CONCOURS WITH THE OPINION OF THE ADVOCATE GENERAL IN FINDING THAT THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT IN QUESTION CONTAIN NO OBSCURITIES AND THAT ACCORDINGLY THERE IS IN PRINCIPLE NOTHING TO BE INTERPRETED .

IT APPEARS FROM THE FACTS SET OUT IN THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 AND REPRODUCED ABOVE THAT THE PARTIES SUBMITTED TO THE COURT ONLY THE QUESTION WHETHER ARTICLE 1 OF DECISION NO 2/54 OF THE HIGH AUTHORITY INFRINGED ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS BECAUSE IT ALLOWED NON-ITALIAN COMMUNITY STEEL PRODUCERS TO GRANT DISCOUNTS ON THEIR PRICE-LISTS ON THE ITALIAN MARKET . IT FOLLOWS THAT THE COURT HAD BEFORE IT ONLY THE QUESTION WHETHER NON-ITALIAN STEEL PRODUCERS IN THE COMMUNITY WERE NOT ONLY PREVENTED UNDER ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS FROM ALIGNING THEIR PRICES ON THOSE OF ITALIAN PRODUCERS BUT WERE PREVENTED GENERALLY FROM SELLING ON THE ITALIAN MARKET AT PRICES LOWER THAN THOSE SET OUT IN THEIR PRICE-LISTS .

THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF NO 11 OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT, IN SECTION II, EXPLAINS THE OBJECTIVE PURSUED BY ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS : ACCORDING TO THAT PARAGRAPH NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS MUST BE PREVENTED FROM COMPETING WITH ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE ITALIAN MARKET BY QUOTING PRICES LOWER THAN THOSE IN THEIR PRICE-LISTS . THE FOLLOWING AND LAST PARAGRAPH OF NO 11 OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT, WHICH GIVES REASONS FOR THIS INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO ITS CONTENT AND STATES THAT NOT ONLY ALIGNMENT BUT GENERALLY SPEAKING ANY QUOTATION LOWER THAN THE PRICES CONTAINED IN THE PRICE-LISTS IS UNLAWFUL, REFERS ONLY TO THE PROTECTION OF THE ITALIAN MARKET AGAINST COMPETITION BY NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY : THERE IS A CLOSE LINK BETWEEN THAT PARAGRAPH OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT AND THE EXPLANATIONS GIVEN IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH . THE HIGH AUTHORITY IS THEREFORE WRONG IN THINKING THAT IT CAN FIND IN THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR ITS POSITION ON THE QUESTION WHETHER ARTICLE 30 ( 2 ) OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS ALSO PROHIBITS ALIGNMENT BY THE ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS INTER SE OR ALIGNMENT BY ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE PRICES OF NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY . THE COURT DID NOT HAVE THIS QUESTION BEFORE IT IN CASE 2/54 AND DID NOT GIVE A DECISION ON THIS ISSUE . THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 DID NOT DECLARE THAT SUCH ALIGNMENTS WERE ALLOWED; NOR DID IT DECLARE THAT THEY WERE PROHIBITED . THIS QUESTION CANNOT THEREFORE BE ANSWERED BY MEANS OF INTERPRETATION . FOR THESE SAME REASONS THE COURT CANNOT ACCEPT THE SECOND PART OF THE REQUEST BY THE APPLICANT TO INTERPRET THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 AS MEANING THAT ARTICLE 30 ( 2 ) OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS DOES NOT PREVENT ALIGNMENT WITHIN THE ITALIAN MARKET BY THE ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE PRICES OF OTHER ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS OR ALIGNMENT BY THE ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE PRICES OF OTHER NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY .

IN A JUDGMENT GIVING AN INTERPRETATION THE COURT CAN ONLY DEFINE THE MEANING AND SCOPE OF A PREVIOUS JUDGMENT; IT CANNOT GIVE JUDGMENT ON MATTERS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN DECIDED BY THAT JUDGMENT . THE PARTIES MAY NOT, BY MEANS OF A REQUEST FOR INTERPRETATION, ASK FOR A NEW DECISION ON NEW DISPUTES .

P . 144

NEVERTHELESS, SINCE BOTH PARTIES HAVE EXPRESSLY STATED THAT THEY WOULD LIKE AN INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT TO WHICH THEY ATTACH DIFFERENT MEANINGS, THE COURT CONSIDERS IT APPROPRIATE TO SET OUT IN THE OPERATIVE PART BELOW THE SCOPE OF ITS JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 .

Decision on costs



NEITHER OF THE PARTIES HAS ASKED FOR COSTS BUT NEVERTHELESS THE COURT MUST ADJUDICATE IN THIS RESPECT UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE PROTOCOL ON THE STATUTE .

ON THE ONE HAND, BY ITS LETTER OF 28 FEBRUARY 1955 WHICH WRONGLY RELIES ON THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54, THE HIGH AUTHORITY HAS CAUSED THE PRESENT APPLICATION FOR AN INTERPRETATION . IT WRONGLY BASED ITS INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 30 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS ON THE JUDGMENT IN QUESTION . ON THE OTHER HAND, THE APPLICATION IS NOT WELL FOUNDED IN SEEKING FROM THE COURT A DECISION ON THE LAWFUL OR UNLAWFUL NATURE OF ALIGNMENT BY ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS .

APPLYING ARTICLE 60 ( 2 ) OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COURT IT IS RIGHT THAT THE PARTIES BE ORDERED TO BEAR THEIR OWN COSTS .

Operative part



THE COURT

HEREBY :

DECLARES THAT THE SCOPE OF THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54 IS DEFINED IN THE JUDGMENT ITSELF IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF NO 11 OF PART II OF THE GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT BY THE WORDS : " THE ACTUAL OBJECTIVE OF THIS PROVISION ( OF THE CONVENTION ) IS THEREFORE TO PREVENT THE NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS FROM COMPETING WITH THE ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE ITALIAN MARKET BY UNDERCUTTING THEIR OWN PRICE-LISTS " AND THAT THE NEXT PARAGRAPH OF THE JUDGMENT REFERS SOLELY TO SALES MADE IN ITALY BY NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS REFERRED TO IN THE SAID DEFINITION, WHEREAS THE QUESTION OF ALIGNMENT BY ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE PRICES OF OTHER ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS AND ALIGNMENT BY ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS ON THE PRICES OF OF OTHER NON-ITALIAN UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COMMUNITY IS NOT DECIDED BY THE JUDGMENT IN CASE 2/54;

ORDERS THE PARTIES TO BEAR THEIR OWN COSTS;

ORDERS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 78 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE, THAT THE ORIGINAL OF THIS JUDGMENT BE ANNEXED IN THE FILES TO THE ORIGINAL OF THE JUDGMENT INTERPRETED ( CASE 2/54 ) AND THAT A NOTE OF THE INTERPRETING JUDGMENT BE MADE IN THE MARGIN OF THE ORIGINAL OF THE JUDGMENT INTERPRETED .

JUDGE RUEFF TOOK PART IN THE DELIBERATIONS IN THE DELIBERATION ROOM DURING WHICH THE DECISION WAS ARRIVED AT . AT THE END OF THE DELIBERATIONS ON 6 JUNE 1955 HE SIGNED THE OPERATIVE PART OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH WAS PUT IN THE FILE OF THE CASE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE DELIBERATIONS

HE WAS PREVENTED FROM SIGNING THE JUDGMENT BY REASON OF HIS JUSTIFIED ABSENCE WHEN THE JUDGMENT WAS READ IN OPEN COURT .