Kolpinghuis Nijmegen BV

European Law

Kolpinghuis Nijmegen BV
Image: ’21st Century Still Life’ by Jose A Hinojos

The definition of a Directive relies upon its effect upon a Member State as opposed to individuals unless so designed, and yet on this occasion, the criminal acts of a café were punished under the powers of an as yet transposed Directive, thus prompting the District Court to seek a preliminary ruling.

In July 1980, the European Council passed Directive 80/777/EEC in relation to the sourcing and sale of mineral water, which explained that:

“[O]nly waters extracted from the ground of a Member State and recognized by the responsible authority of that Member State as natural mineral waters satisfying the provisions of Annex I, Section I, of the Directive may be marketed as natural mineral waters.”

While the transposition period was four years from the date of the Directive implementation, the Member State in question failed to adopt it into their national laws.

On 7 August of 1984, the defendant Kolpinghuis Nijmegen BV was found stocking and selling mineral water that in fact consisted of nothing more than tap water and carbon dioxide. Indicted by the Keuringsdienst van Waren (Goods Inspectorate) the defendant was charged under art.2 of the Keuringsverodening (Inspection Regulation) for the sale of goods of unsound composition, and levied a fine of HFL 501.

With consideration of the fact that the Directive was not implemented into national law until 8 August 1985, the Officer van Justitie was of the opinion that the Directive was already legally enforceable, however the District Court sought a preliminary ruling under art.177 of the EC Treaty in order to establish whether:

(i) A Member State could rely upon the powers of a Directive as yet unadopted into national law.

(ii) Where a Directive has not yet been transposed, a national court could give direct effect to its provisions despite the individual standing to gain no benefit from such an act.

(iii) Where a national court has the option to follow national law, it should follow instead, the powers of an applicable Directive.

(iv) Any weight needed to be given to the first three points when the adoption threshold for the Directive was still open.

Referring to a number of similar cases such as Marshall v Southampton and South West Hampshire Area Health Authority and Von Colson and Kamann v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Court relied upon Pretore di Salo v X to illustrate how:

“[A] Directive cannot, of itself and independently of a national law adopted by a Member State for its implementation, have the effect of determining or aggra­vating the liability in criminal law of persons who act in contravention of the provisions of that Directive.”

This translated that while the powers contained within a Directive can indirectly assist in the enforcement of both national and local laws, it could not serve as direct source of adjudication when determining individual liability, while the Court also noted that the date upon which hearing had occurred bore no relevance to the issues in questions 1-3, as the transposition window had yet to close.

The Case Law Compendium Q&A


Why did you write The Case Law Compendium?

I wrote the book for a number of reasons, but if pushed for a single motivation it would be to enable law students to navigate and hopefully excel at studying for their degrees. I could expand upon this, but that’s the shortest answer I can give you. In fact, the idea traces back to ‘The Black Letter’, which I created to keep myself busy after graduating with my LL.B (Hons) Law degree.

Essentially I set out to read and write about a number of cases I had touched upon while at university, expecting nothing more from the experience other than to stimulate my mind, and put my thoughts out there for those who might stumble across this website.

However, something quite unexpected happened.

What was this unexpected event?

In the months following the launch of The Black Letter (Black Letter Publishing), my visitor statistics were much higher than anticipated, however, it was the diversity of visitors that really surprised me. After calculating the numbers, I realised that people from over 110 countries had visited the website to read my case studies, and in fact this trend has continued to grow since then.

This indicated that not only was my writing appealing, it was reaching students all over of the globe, and this international outreach really excited me. It was then that my wife explained how a book would the perfect way to genuinely help law students, especially given that I couldn’t be there in person to help them understand the complexities of case law.

So which kind of student was it designed to help?

Quite literally all law students everywhere. And while I realise that each country has its own laws and jurisdictions, there is clear evidence that English law leads the way in this field, therefore the potential to assist overseas students is enormous. I cannot stress enough that The Case Law Compendium is much more than a book, it’s a study support resource unlike any law course book I have ever read, and I can say that with confidence, because had I found anything remotely similar to this whilst at university, I would have purchased it without a moment’s hesitation.

What make this book so special?

A number of things make The Case Law Compendium special, but to summarise it best, I would say that the book immediately closes the gap between the subject, the university and the student. And because law is built upon cases, undergraduates essentially have to quickly digest and appreciate why those cases are applied, relied upon, examined and used as precedent, and why the judges consult them when advancing laws or reaching decisions that the casual reader might not understand.

Institutionally speaking, most universities work to tightly scheduled timetables, and thus lectures are often overwhelming and confusing, largely because there just isn’t the time to explore case facets and themes.

However, by having a copy of The Case Law Compendium at the start of their course, every student can instantly refer to the cases discussed and thereby recognise the essence of the matter, the positions adopted by the courts, judges and litigating parties, without surrendering to hours of laboured reading in order to keep up with the strict course requirements.

Though perhaps the most invaluable aspect of this book is that it can be purchased and read literally months ahead of the required modules, thus preparing the students for the lectures, coursework and discussions ahead.

Likewise, by reading the additional modules in this particular publication, students can choose at least two of their selective modules with confidence. It’s also important to note that many family law cases will inevitably encroach on child law cases, again helping them with optional module selection.

From personal experience, property (land) and European law were the two most complex, challenging and often unnerving of the modules, even to the point that teaching the subject proved hard and painful to endure, largely because many cases are frequently layered, overlapping and therefore easily misunderstood. Yet by using The Case Law Compendium, the challenges are instantly reduced and reader knowledge is increased in a way that underpins the university curriculum.

Having spent many hours writing this invaluable book, I cannot overemphasise just how critical The Case Law Compendium is to all law students, especially those studying abroad, and it’s equally vital to remember that having stripped away all the superfluous material, keeping only that which will impact and explain exactly what happened and why, this is an asset not to be overlooked, particularly as English court transcripts are frequently, if not always, unforgiving to traverse, and so command absolute focus should the translation be correct.

So it makes the seemingly impossible, possible?

Yes. No matter how many ways you approach it, The Case Law Compendium defies traditional learning, because it marries the exactness of legal knowledge with the vulnerability of an uninformed reader, thereby producing something fresh and stimulating, a benefit unseen before in this complex and specialised field.

In fact, this book would take anybody remotely interested in law, and transform them into somebody able to now see inside the subject in a way that transcends convention, and yet enables them to respect and embrace the process of law in a totally different way.

By way of example, I recently practiced this approach with a Spanish acquaintance, unfamiliar with law, and yet after explaining a case that was connected to her country, she completely understood it, much to her surprise and my delight! In fact I have had quick success with everyone that I’ve tried this with, even explaining constitutional and European law to grandmothers in their seventies!

Because of this, I am supremely confident that once opened and digested, the readers will revel in their new found insight, while law students will keep the book firmly nestled inside their backpacks as their degrees unfold.

Who else can benefit from The Case Law Compendium?

Law lecturers, solicitors, postgraduates, professors, in fact anybody with a passing interest in law and the cases that help shape it.

Lecturers can refer to it to brush up on legislation and case discussions, they can even use it to copy key citations for presentations, in order to help explain the matters without taking up precious student time.

Solicitors can use it to remind themselves of key cases that might be useful when in court, and take advantage of the best citations when reaching out to the wisdom of the judges.

Postgraduates can use it to refer to cases that might be relevant for thesis or assignment arguments, or again, as a quick refresher of that which they would have already learned.

Professors, much like lecturers, can always rely upon the expeditious breakdown of case material and thematic content to help illustrate how laws have been influenced and outcomes altered, or even as a stimulating read on occasions where they feel compelled to remember how laws function.

Lay readers can simply delve into all the major topics without committing to a degree course, hopefully going on to study the subject in greater detail with increased confidence, or knowing it’s not the subject for them, while whatever the outcome, everybody wins.

Will it ever be sold in eBook format?

Having looked at the practicalities of this, I am sorry to say this is not an option right now. Those reasons stem from the fact that unlike fiction ‘novels’, the layout of the book requires the reader to note the citation references when reading and referring to it, which is not an option for Kindle devices and other associated electronic readers, besides, there is nothing like having a printed book beside you when working, as I can qualify, having proof read the book myself, and also having used it to quickly refer to court details etc. during the writing of this debut publication!

The Key Citations? What can you tell us about this aspect of the book?

One of the prerequisites of written legal text is that the student must include judgment citations relevant to the argument or theme discussed. This is a process that can require hours of laboured reading in order to find the most powerful statement relating to the case in hand. For those new to law, this is a huge challenge in itself, and so ultimately the only way to find these quotes, is from reading the case transcripts, documents that can run from ten to literally hundreds of pages, particularly in appeal cases, where there will be a number of judges commenting, as opposed to one in preliminary hearings.

In European law, there are also the opinions of both the Advocate-Generals and the Courts, again requiring valuable time in order to find the best, most relevant and impactive quotes possible.

By having personally analysed all 150+ cases during the preparation of the book, I have selected only the most relevant quotes before including them at the conclusion of the case studies.

In some instances, there are only one or two, while in others there are many more, a factor solely dependant on the judges themselves, who, when reading the material and organising their verdicts, offer knowledge that is purposeful to the matter.

This aspect of the book is quite simply essential, not only because the citations are there to both read and use, but because they have been fully OSCOLA referenced, thereby easily inserted into coursework without the need to find out the exact page number, judge name, court, and hearing date. This is yet another time-saving feature that everybody can benefit from, including undergraduates through to professors of law, while in the former example, academic grades are naturally reliant upon accurate referencing when impressing the markers.

So that’s three unique selling points rolled into one!

Yes it is, but the book goes far beyond that, it inspires the reader, opens the subject up and allows for everybody to discuss what it really means to go to court, or to apply law in our everyday world, even giving insight into how matters end up in front of judges, how institutions operate, governments function, criminals try to avoid punishment and small accidents become huge lawsuits.

What would you like to say as a closing statement?

I would close by saying to anybody remotely curious about the various laws of both England and Europe, and especially those about to begin their law degrees, that ‘The Case Law Compendium’ is quite simply the only purchase they will need to make outside of the core text books required by the universities, and while it will certainly provide buyers many hours of stimulating and enlightening reading, it will also serve as a tool that can be used again and again as their legal knowledge increases.

This alone makes The Case Law Compendium the best law study resource available anywhere in the world today, which is perfect, as it is live on most Amazon sites and ready for shipping to any country.

The book is also being actively marketed to literally thousands of leading bricks-and-mortar retailers, university libraries and online bookshops around the globe, so even if you don’t want to shop online, you can simply walk in and pick a copy up, borrow it from your campus library, or just order it through a book store.

The world’s No.1 case law study support resource has arrived!



The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law
The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law by Neil Egan-Ronayne © 2017


The rapid international appeal of The Black Letter has led to the creation and  publication of the ‘The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law’ which will provide students everywhere with:

  • 150+ English leading case law studies
  • Covering Constitutional & Administrative Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity & Trust Law, European Law, Family Law, Medical Law, Property (Land) Law and Tort Law fields
  • Complex leading cases distilled into simplified and easily digestible text
  • Each case study includes Fully OSCOLA referenced hand-selected citations for immediate use in coursework

What does this mean to me?

What this means is that by personally analysing thousands of transcript pages, all the hard work of reading, understanding and translating the minds of the judges and courts is something you can finally say goodbye to. Each case also includes hand-selected and fully OSCOLA referenced citations that can be quickly inserted into written coursework (or moot skeleton arguments) without you having to hunt for them.

So now by simply having a copy of the ‘The Case Law Compendium’ close to hand you will be able to effectively engage in tutorial debates, improve your essay writing abilities, and expedite your knowledge of a multitude of legal fields without the pain of decoding the legislation and application of jurisprudence.

So when is it available?

It is available now through most Amazon sites, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, and thanks to the brilliance of Print on Demand technology it will always be ready for worldwide shipping in just a few clicks.

I can only emphasise just how invaluable this book will become to you as your law  course progresses, and you’ll be surprised at just how fast you learn the cases and how your confidence grows when discussing their finer points. I am supremely confident that you will also find yourself returning to the book when studying both for insight and refreshment of knowledge, and I quietly hope you will be equally excited whenever you turn to this unprecedented resource.

Please remember that it was you the worldwide readers, that inspired this book, so you owe it to yourselves to buy it (and use the hell out of it) and to tell your peers and friends everywhere, so that they too can work towards becoming an ‘A‘ student in English law.

Remember that with ‘The Case Law Compendium’ you can do it.

Electronic Signatures Neil