Case summary

Deciding Body
First Instance Bucharest District Court 1
Judecătoria Sectorului 1 Bucureşti
National case details
Date of decision: 20.05.14
Instance: 1st Instance
Area of law
Consumer protection
Unfair terms

Safeguards for access to justice
Right to access a court, Right to an effective remedy before a tribunal
Relevant principles applied

Identification of the case

National law sources
  • art. 20 Romanian Constitution, art. 109 and art. 113 pct. 8 civil procedural code, Law no. 193/2000
EU law sources
  • Directive no. 93/13/CEE

Summary of the case

Facts of the case

The claimant requested the annulment of abusive clauses form a credit contract. He introduced his claim at the first instance court from his domicile, and the place from the branch of the Bank where the credit contract was signed. The judge considered that the court is not competent to solve the case based on a competence agreement from the credit contract and redirected the case towards First Instance Bucharest District Court 1, as stipulated. The judge from First Instance Bucharest District Court 1 considered that the court is not competent based on declaring ex officio the jurisdiction agreement as an abusive clause, which infringes the consumer’s right to a fair trial.

Type of enforcement
  • Civil judicial enforcement
Reasoning (legal principles applied)

The judge stated that forcing the consumer to travel a long distance could affect his possibility to present the case in from of the court and would disregard the principal of equality of weapons of the parties.

Role of the Charter and role of the general principles on enforcement

Safeguards for access to justice
  • Right to access a court
  • Right to an effective remedy before a tribunal
Relevance of CFREU and ECHR articles or related rights

The national judge applied the right to a fair trial, art. 6 ECHR and ECJ case law in applying the national law.

Relevant principles applied
  • Effectiveness
Principle of effectiveness

The national judge considered that the claimant could be dissuaded to continue the proceeding if he cannot come in from of the judge to present his case.

The claimant’s access to a court would not be effective if he cannot present all the fact pertaining to the case in front of the judge as a result of the distance between his place of domicile and the place where the court is situated.

Elements of judicial dialogue

Vertical dialogue type
  • Direct dialogue between CJEU/ECtHR and National court (out of preliminary reference procedure)
  • Dialogue between high court - lower instance court at national level
Cited CJEU
  • CJEU C-240/98, Océano Grupo Editorial SA c. Roció Murciano Quintero
  • CJEU C-241/98, Salvat Editores SA c. José M. Sánchez Alcón Prades
  • CJEU C-242/98, José Copano Badillo
  • CJEU C-243/98, Mohammed Berroane
  • CJEU C-244/98, Emilio Viñas Feliú
Dialogue techniques

The Court makes reference to CJEU case law and to the case law of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Additional notes on the decision

External links