English

Constitutional Law

legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall be recognized and available in law, and be enforced, allowed and followed accordingly. and the expression enforceable Community right and similar expressions shall be read as referring to one to which this subsection applies.’1The impact of Section 2(1) of The European Community Act 1972 on Martin’s situation is that any rights conferred upon him for recovery of damages will not be compromised by a conflict between U.K. law and the laws of the European Community. There are essentially three applicable systems of law relevant to determining Martin’s rights in the context of the directive and regulation issued by the European Union. The three systems are contained in the European Union’s Treaties which are referred to as primary legislation, Directives, and Regulations which are referred to as secondary legislation and Decisions which are handed down in the European Court of Justice.2For present purposes, this discussion will center on Directives and Regulations as well as the relevant case law. The reason for this is that Martin’s case involves the interpretation and application of secondary legislation as his rights are directly connected to the validity of a directive and a regulation issued by the Council of the European Union. There is only a minor distinction between regulations and directives. While directives require enactment by the legislators of individual Member States, regulations are not burdened by any such requirement. All the same, both are binding on all members and are ‘directly applicable.3If there is a conflict between a European regulation and local legislation the regulation will prevail. It appears that the regulation issued with regards to the occupiers of commercial premises and their right to compensation for damages sustained as a result of mercury contamination does not cause any difficulties for Martin. The regulation permits Martin to refer to English law for the quantification of damages.

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