Law 19983 on

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CASE MARSHALL

3 . ARTICLE 5 ( 1 ) OF DIRECTIVE NO 76/207 MUST BE INTERPRETED AS MEANING THAT A GENERAL POLICY CONCERNING DISMISSAL INVOLVING THE DISMISSAL OF A WOMAN SOLELY BECAUSE SHE HAS ATTAINED THE QUALIFYING AGE FOR A STATE PENSION , WHICH AGE IS DIFFERENT UNDER NATIONAL LEGISLATION FOR MEN AND FOR WOMEN , CONSTITUTES DISCRIMINATION ON GROUNDS OF SEX , CONTRARY TO THAT DIRECTIVE .

4 . WHEREVER THE PROVISIONS OF A DIRECTIVE APPEAR , AS FAR AS THEIR SUBJECT- MATTER IS CONCERNED , TO BE UNCONDITIONAL AND SUFFICIENTLY PRECISE , THOSE PROVISIONS MAY BE RELIED UPON BY AN INDIVIDUAL AGAINST THE STATE WHERE THAT STATE FAILS TO IMPLEMENT THE DIRECTIVE IN NATIONAL LAW BY THE END OF THE PERIOD PRESCRIBED OR WHERE IT FAILS TO IMPLEMENT THE DIRECTIVE CORRECTLY .

IT WOULD IN FACT BE INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE BINDING NATURE WHICH ARTICLE 189 CONFERS ON THE DIRECTIVE TO HOLD AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE THAT THE OBLIGATION IMPOSED THEREBY CANNOT BE RELIED ON BY THOSE CONCERNED . CONSEQUENTLY , A MEMBER STATE WHICH HAS NOT ADOPTED THE IMPLEMENTING MEASURES REQUIRED BY THE DIRECTIVE WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD MAY NOT PLEAD , AS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS , ITS OWN FAILURE TO PERFORM THE OBLIGATIONS WHICH THE DIRECTIVE ENTAILS . IN THAT RESPECT THE CAPACITY IN WHICH THE STATE ACTS , WHETHER AS EMPLOYER OR PUBLIC AUTHORITY , IS IRRELEVANT . IN EITHER CASE IT IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE STATE FROM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ITS OWN FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COMMUNITY LAW .

THE COURT ,

IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS REFERRED TO IT BY THE COURT OF APPEAL BY AN ORDER OF 12 MARCH 1984 , HEREBY RULES :

( 1 ) ARTICLE 5 ( 1 ) OF DIRECTIVE NO 76/207 MUST BE INTERPRETED AS MEANING THAT A GENERAL POLICY CONCERNING DISMISSAL INVOLVING THE DISMISSAL OF A WOMAN SOLELY BECAUSE SHE HAS ATTAINED OR PASSED THE QUALIFYING AGE FOR A STATE PENSION , WHICH AGE IS DIFFERENT UNDER NATIONAL LEGISLATION FOR MEN AND FOR WOMEN , CONSTITUTES DISCRIMINATION ON GROUNDS OF SEX , CONTRARY TO THAT DIRECTIVE .

( 2 ) ARTICLE 5 ( 1 ) OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE NO 76/207 OF 9 FEBRUARY 1976 , WHICH PROHIBITS ANY DISCRIMINATION ON GROUNDS OF SEX WITH REGARD TO WORKING CONDITIONS , INCLUDING THE CONDITIONS GOVERNING DISMISSAL , MAY BE RELIED UPON AS AGAINST A STATE AUTHORITY ACTING IN ITS CAPACITY AS EMPLOYER , IN ORDER TO AVOID THE APPLICATION OF ANY NATIONAL PROVISION WHICH DOES NOT CONFORM TO ARTICLE 5 ( 1 ).

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