1. An imaginary EC Directive, adopted in January 2003 under EC health and safety policies, requires member states to provide a minimum of 20 days 'paternity 'leave' for all male employees after the birth of a child.
The Directive was to be implemented by the 1st December 2005.
It does not therefore implement the directive.
Anil works as an electrician for North West Electricity PLC, a privatized utilities company. His wife is expecting a baby in May 2006. In February 2006 he applied for paternity leave and was refused on the grounds that his contract does not provide for it.
Unlike EC regulation which is binding in its entirety and directly applicable to all member-states of the European Union1, a directive is binding only as to the result to be achieved2 and upon the member-state to which it is addressed. It also leaves to the national authorities the choice of form and methods by which to implement the said directive.
Relevant to this problem is the question of direct effect of the subject directive without the need for it to be implemented by national law. According to the doctrine, Community law creates rights in favour of individuals, which the national courts are duty bound to protect.3 Stated otherwise, direct effect refers to the principle whereby certain provisions of Community law may confer rights or impose obligations on individuals that national courts are bound to recognize and enforce. ...