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Case law

CJEU, Joined Cases C‑124/16, C‑188/16 and C‑213/16, Ianos Tranca, Tanja Reiter and Ionel Opria

March 2017 - Germany

right to information

In this judgment the CJEU responded to the preliminary questions referred by two German courts regarding Article 2, Article 3(1)(c) and Article 6(1) and(3) of the Directive 2012/13/EU on the right to information on criminal proceedings. The referring courts asked whether the said provisions were incompatible with national legislation which provides that the accused person who does neither reside nor has fixed place of residence in that Member State or in his Member State of origin is required to appoint  a  third  party  (an  agent)  for  the  purposes  of  service  of  a  penalty  order  concerning  him. Additionally, the referring court asked if the Directive is compatible with national legal provisions that establish that the period for lodging an objection to the said order, before it becomes enforceable, runs from service of that order on that agent. The Court held that Article 2, Article 3(1)(c), of Directive do not preclude the said domestic legislation in Germany, and therefore, in the above­mentioned circumstances, the accused person is required to appoint an agent for the purposes of service of a penalty order concerning him, and that the period for lodging an objection to that order, before it becomes enforceable, runs from service of that order on that agent. Additionally the Court held that Article 6, however, “requires that, when the penalty order is enforced, as soon as the person concerned has actually become aware of the order, he should be placed in the same situation as if that order had been served on him personally and, in particular, that he have the whole of the prescribed period for lodging an objection, where necessary, benefiting from having his position restored to the status quo ante. It is for the referring court to ensure that the national procedure for the accused person’s position being restored to the status quo ante and the conditions to which  the  exercise  of  that  procedure  is  subject  are  applied  in  a  manner  consistent  with  those requirements and that that procedure thus permits the effective exercise of the rights provided for in Article 6.”

You can read the full judgment here.

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