An application to suspend an instance
Authority to levy taxes
RULING Nº 606/94
22 of November of 1994
When an appeal argues that a domestic legal rule is incompatible with the Treaty of Rome or an EC Regulation and therefore unlawful, it is clear that a decision given by the Court of Justice of the European Communities in another case - even one in which the facts are similar or indeed identical - does not necessarily prejudge the decision required on the appeal to the Constitutional Court.
This case concerns concrete review of the constitutional and legal validity of a domestic legal rule allegedly violating Articles 9, 12 and 95 EC. The appeal on ground of unlawfulness was brought under Articles 280.2.a and 280.2.d of the Constitution, and Article 70.1.c and 70.1.f of the Constitutional Court Act.
The applicant submitted that the lawfulness of a rule laid down in the Customs Regulations should be reviewed, on the ground that it violated Articles 9, 12 and 95 EC. She also applied for suspension of the proceedings before the Constitutional Court, arguing that the only question at issue in her appeal - namely, whether the payment of a percentage required by the said rule was compatible with the Treaty of Rome or EC Regulations - had already been raised as a preliminary question in another case pending before the Lisbon Fiscal Court, which has jurisdiction in customs matters. She argued that the proceedings before the Constitutional Court should be suspended, since that court would have to take account, in its judgment, of any decision given by the Court of Justice of the European Communities on the request for a preliminary ruling.
The Constitutional Court found that there might be grounds for suspending proceedings before it, if the decision pending on another case or an application for a preliminary ruling was necessary to the taking of its own decision - but that such was not the case in this instance. It accordingly rejected the request to stay proceedings.