The purpose of this Note is to investigate the European Court of Justice's less expansive treatment of directives as compared to other forms of EC law through its failure to apply horizontal direct effect to directives. More specifically, this Note attempts to answer two questions which arise from the current status of ECJ jurisprudence: First, why has the Court been reluctant to implement horizontal direct effect for directives, especially in light of other actions it has taken to increase the potency of EC law? Second, given the alternative steps taken by the ECJ, is it still necessary to establish horizontal direct effect for directives in order to maximize the effectiveness of EC law? There are various possible explanations for the Court's reluctance to establish horizontal direct effect for directives, but only one outcome of this reluctance; namely, less-than-maximum effectiveness of EC law. The Court's failure to establish horizontal direct effect of directives has caused a gap in the potency of EC law which the Court has unsuccessfully attempted to fill through the implementation of alternative measures. Thus, horizontal direct effect for directives needs to be established by the Court in order to fill this gap and maximize the effectiveness of EC law.
Carla A. Varner,
The Effectiveness of European Community Law with Specific Regard to Directives: The Critical Step Not Taken by the European Court of Justice,
Mich. J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjil/vol22/iss3/4