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R v International Stock Exchange of the UK and RoI, ex p Else (1982) Ltd [1993]

Facts

  • The case concerned a dispute over harmonised rules provided by the EU Council Directive 79/279. The directive failed to provide protection to shareholders who wished to have a company’s shares listed on the Stock Exchange, contrary to the decision of the International Stock Exchange

Issues

  • When must a reference be made to the Court of Justice of the European Union?
  • Need a reference be made?

Decision

  • Whenever a national court cannot resolve in complete confidence that there is no need for a preliminary reference request to be made
  • No reference required

Reasoning

  • It was clear that the Directive was intended to harmonise listing rules, and did not affect the rights of shareholders
  • Sir Thomas Bingham (later Lord Bingham) warned that if in doubt, a national court should request a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union
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