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Environment Law

Has the CJEU Shut the Door on Climate Change Litigation?

LEGAL BACKGROUNDIn recent years, numerous ecologists and environmental organisations have brought proceedings against national governments for their failure to reach the objectives contained in the 2015 Paris Agreement on combating climate change. That Agreement is unique for two reasons. First, it has been ratified by almost all countries in the world, representing over 95% of global greenhouse emissions. Secondly, it contains a specific climate target which our governments have promised to achieve. This consists in the maintenance of global temperatures to well below 2°C and preferably to not more than 1,5°C above pre-industrial levels from the date of the Agreement…
Mark Soler
23rd April 2021
Aviation

CJEU Confirms that Trade Union Strikes are not ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ for the Purposes of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation

​On the 23rd March 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered a Grand Chamber decision on a preliminary reference transmitted to it by a Swedish tribunal in a matter concerning air passenger rights (Airhelp Ltd v. Scandinavian Airline System SAS, c-28/20). The decision sets out the legal test according to which a strike by workers of an airline undertaking may be considered to be an 'extraordinary circumstance' for the purposes of the compensation provisions of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 (the Air Passenger Rights Regulation).THE FACTSA passenger, S., had booked an internal flight from Malmö to Stockholm which…
Mark Soler
21st April 2021
Employment & Labour

Court of Justice of the European Union Condemns UK for Breaching Ambient Air Quality Limits

On the 4th March 2021, the Seventh Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its decision on an important matter related to the breach of ambient air quality legislation by the UK government (European Commission v. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, c-664/18). This case is only one among several others filed by the Commission against EU Member States, including France, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary. Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe required Member States of the EU to adopt the air pollution limits contained within its Annexes by the…
Mark Soler
8th March 2021
Corporate & Commercial

New Regulations on the Importation of Plant Material from Foreign Countries

If one wishes to import foreign plants into Malta or Gozo, it would be worth noting the new Propagation Material of Ornamental Plants Regulations (the "Regulations").  These Regulations came into force on the 5th October 2018 and ensure that any propagation material of ornamental plants produced or placed on the Maltese market meet predetermined standards of quality. Commission Directives 1993/49/EEC,  1998/56/EC,  1999/67/EC,  1999/68/EC  and Commission Implementing Directive (EU) 2018/484 have been transposed by virtue of the Regulations. These instruments were enacted at EU level to harmonize the health and quality standards of plants circulating within the free market. All biological…
Mark Soler
6th March 2019
Corporate & Commercial

Regulations to Relieve Stamp Duty on Transfers of Business Property

The Duty on Donations of Marketable Securities and Immovable Property Used for Business (Exemption) Order (the "Order"),  recently amended by Legal Notice 412 of 2018,  introduces a reduced rate of duty for gratuitous transfers of business property. The aim is to partially relieve the burden placed on individuals who intend to transfer immovable property forming part of a family business.The Order applies, inter alia, to individuals transferring, by gratuitous title, immovable property being a commercial tenement as defined in article 1525 of the Civil Code, that had been used in a family business as defined in the Family Business Act…
Mark Soler
1st March 2019
Corporate & Commercial

European Parliament Adopts a Resolution on the Restitution of Plundered Artwork

Due to growing public consciousness regarding the subject of artwork and cultural property plundered in times of war and colonialisation, the European Parliament has recently adopted a resolution asking for a harmonized system of laws aimed at regulating the restitution of such objects to their lawful owners.On the 17th January, 2019 the European Parliament voted resoundingly in favour of a resolution calling on the Union institutions and Member States to establish a legal framework encouraging the identification and recovery of artistic and cultural works. In particular, the resolution targets future transactions of those works which were obtained through confiscation or…
Mark Soler
15th February 2019