An analysis of the Omega Spielhallen v Bonn case
Omega Spielhallen v Bonn was a case which was presented before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and which involved a German firm and German authorities. This case constitutes a good illustration of how European law works and of the interaction between State Courts and European institutions. Also, it was a case of prime importance for Human Rights in the Community since the ECJ ruled that fundamental human rights, whether they arise from the Constitutions of the Member States or from provisions of the ECHC, can limit the freedom to provide services.
The firm Omega was producing combat games which gave the users the opportunity to "play ...view middle of the document...
This case sheds light on the relationship between Federal and European institutions.
Firstly, it illustrates an aspect of the role of the European Court of Justice, whicb is, being an assistant to the national court, when asked to give a 'preliminary ruling'. The ECJ is at the top of the hierarchy of Community law; it is the last Court to which the case is presented, the Federal Court needs its judgment in order to close the case.
Then, this case pinpoints one of the ECJ's main missions: to ensure the uniform interpretation and application of Community Law throughout the Community. In fact, it proves how a State Court can refer a question to the ECJ to clarify certain points on which Community Law is not specific. The two main points were : either prohibiting an economic activity to preserve human rights was compatible with Community Law and if the Community believed in the need for a general conception of law in order to restrict the freedom to provide services in Member States. In fact, the prohibition issued by the Bonn police was justified since Omega constituted a danger to public policy in Germany, but the Federal Court realized that judicial review was necessary before applying a derogation on Article 49 EC, since the circumstances which may justify recourse to this derogation vary from one Member State to another.
Omega Spielhallen v Bonn is an example of good harmony between the Court of Justice and German courts, since the German Constitutional right to Human dignity was pleaded by the German authorities and was upheld by the Court.
Finally a few precedents are cited in this case: even though there is no doctrine of stare decisis in the ECJ, the Court does follow its previous decisions in most cases. The Court cites precedents when they support its reasoning, they are...