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Case C-14/83 Von Colson [1984]


  • Von Colson, a female German national, was refused employment at a prison on the basis of her gender, contrary to the Equal Treatment Directive
  • The employer was prepared to offer compensation only for travel costs in attending the interview


  • Could substantial compensation be awarded?


  • Yes


  • It is a national court’s duty to interpret national law in accordance with EU law
  • Von Colson should be offered a substantial remedy
  • This interpretative duty may give rise to directives being (almost) horizontally effective
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