The Principle of Direct Effect The principle of direct effect, a doctrine that emerged in Case 26/62 Van Gend en Loos v. Nederlandse, is a mechanism to enforce rights that UE law confers on individuals. There are two prongs of Gend that must be satisfied for direct effect to obtain: the EU law in question must be both “unconditional” and “sufficiently clear and precise.” The 2001 EU Council decision pertaining to publicly funded child care provision schemes for working families satisfies both prongs of the Gend test. The decision is “sufficiently clear and precise” (see also the Francovich criteria) in that it specifies what the law is (publicly funded child care provision schemes), and who it applies to (working families). The decision is...The end:
.....s applied uniformly throughout the Community. In this case, Article 234 confers on the ECJ the right to (1) scrutinise the UK’s non-action in the matter of the publicly funded child care provision scheme for working families and (2) enforce the scheme, for example by levying penalties on the UK until it complies. The only leeway enjoyed by the UK court is on matters of fact, over which it retains sovereignty of deliberation; for example, there may be a national law that defines a ‘working’ person as someone who has been employed for at least 6 months, whereas Jane has worked a total of 3 months. In the absence of conflicting EU law to the contrary, existing UK law will govern such issues as whether Jane is, for statutory purposes, a worker.