(1) Bodies amenable to JR/time limit

    • See art 263(1) for scope
      • The Council, Commission and ECB: including legislative acts, other than recommendations/opinions – Dentist Airdrie
      • EP, European Council and EU bodies/offices/agencies: acts intended to produce legal effects against third parties.
        • Lisbon Treaty explicitly included EC and EU bodies/offices/agencies, though this is a codification of prior ECJ jurisprudence which already brought them within scope of JR.
    • Time limit: laid out in art 263(6) – within 2 months of publication/notification to A, or in absence of this, within 2 months after it came to A’s knowledge.
      • After time limit expires, unchallenged decision becomes definitive.
      • Only exception is for measures which have such manifest and serious defects they are regarded as non-existent (BASF v Commission (PVC Cartel), 1992) – HIGHLY exceptional!
      • Rationale = legal certainty!

(2) Acts subject to review – art 263(1)

    • Must be LEGALLY BINDING: acts other than recommendations and opinions = regulations, decisions and directives.
    • Post-Lisbon, both legislative and non-legislative acts can be binding hence reviewable – look at substance, not just title/form.
      • IBM, 1981: early case illustrating this. “any measure the legal effects of which are binding on, and capable of affecting the interests of, the applicant by bringing about a distinct change in his legal position” will be reviewable. The form is immaterial! Here, it was statement of objections in investigation – court said must be final measures with intention to impact indiv’s legal position, not intermediate measures (latter has no legal effect).
        • On the facts, letter was merely initiation of the competition procedure (preparatory stage), and did not alter A’s legal position in itself.

The first step

The first unit you take on the part-time course is business law and practice. If you’re considering doing the part-time course at the University of Law (like me), you’ll have the business exams in March and then follow up with the rest in June, meaning you can concentrate solely on this one topic over the winter months. Having said that, life gets in the way sometimes and I certainly didn’t go into my exam this morning feeling well prepared. Business is quite a heavy-going module if you’re not very experienced in the world of shares and corporation tax, and I’m hoping that some of the future modules will be more up my street (especially my first elective, which starts later this month).

Anyway, beginning with this topic felt a little bit like being thrown in the deep end for me and my first exam being a three-and-a-half hour marathon did nothing to dispel this feeing.