The latter had been storing several chemical substances, including some of the chemical substances that had been specified in the Directive. In March 2007 Simon was hospitalized for mercury poisoning after eating vegetables from his garden. Mercury had been specified in the Directive. Investigations revealed that this mercury had leaked into Simon's garden from the adjacent Otis Chemicals' warehouse.
Directives are the devices through which the European Council implements laws in the Member States of the European Union. Directives harmonise national laws with the European Union laws. The legal systems of the Member States are influenced significantly by the European Community, which governs the interests and rights of the Member States through its own organisations. There exists a unique and sovereign legal system that binds each Member State. This system was developed by means of the several Treaties, which created the EC legislation.
One of the main pillars of the EU is the European Court of Justice or the ECJ. The ECJ had interpreted the nature and effect of Treaties, which is known as the doctrine of direct effect. It is a concept which enables aggrieved individuals to seek redressal in national courts if a Member State fails to implement the provision of a directive. The ECJ developed the notion of direct effect. Under this concept, individuals and organisations can use the provisions of the EC Law in a domestic court without having to wait for the Member State to satisfy an obligation which the Member State failed to execute. According to the ECJ, certain requirements have to be fulfilled for the provision of EC Law to gain Direct Effect.
According to the notion of direct effect individuals can invoke community law to fulfil the required ratification for enforcement in their national courts. In other words, it empowers individuals to have a control similar to Article 226 EC, which bestows authority on the Commission to initiate proceedings against Member States for breaches. Direct effect permits each and every citizen of the Union to participate in the activities of the Union and it has brought the community into their lives.
The legal aspects of direct effect have been established in Van Gend En Loos. The ECJ had held in this case that any individual of the Union can invoke Article 25 EC in order to restrict Member States that imposed additional customs duty on imports and exports and other charges that have equal effects. The Court also held that Article 25 EC was directly effective and individuals could challenge it in their national courts. The Court further held in its decision that individuals may have these rights conferred upon them directly under the provision of the various EU Treaties (Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen).
In Pubblico Ministerio v Tullio Ratti, criminal proceedings had been initiated, under the national law, against the applicant for the alleged infringement of Italian legislation, which was very stringent in the matter of packing solvents. Ratti resorted to the community directive's direct effect as his defence and the outcome was that a preliminary reference was made to the European Court of Justice. The ECJ placed an estoppel argument with the objective of directly enforcing the directive (Pubblico Ministero v. Tullio Ratti ).
The ECJ held that if a directive had