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Case 148/78 Ratti [1979]

Facts

  • Italy failed to implement a directive harmonising the rules on solvent labelling
  • Ratti complied with the directive’s rules, in breach of the Italian rules

Issue

  • Could Ratti appeal against his criminal conviction for breaching law which is incompatible with EU law?

Decision

  • Yes, conviction should be quashed

Reasoning

  • Where a Member State fails to act in accordance with its EU obligations, it may not rely on its own wrongdoing
  • The unimplemented directive became vertically directly effective on Ratti
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