Government not formally notified of ECJ ruling

Update
Government not formally notified of ECJ ruling


Date : 
22/08/12

Ref   : 
531/2012


Government not formally notified of ECJ ruling


Although neither HMGoG, or its legal representatives, have been formally notified by the European Court of Justice, HMGoG takes note of the Order, allegedly adopted by the European Court on 12 July 2012 and published on their website, dismissing the appeal brought by HMGoG against the designation under the EU Habitats Directive of a Spanish Environmental Site in maritime areas which include British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

HMGoG will say nothing further until it has been properly notified by the ECJ and has fully investigated the highly alarming circumstances in which the Spanish press has been able to obtain a copy of the Order before it was duly signed, as well as being given a satisfactory explanation as to why a judge appointed by the Spanish Government was allowed to sit in the three judge panel hearing this case. HMGoG understands that the ECJ Registrar is currently seeking to remove the judgement from its website.

This case was commenced by the previous, GSD, administration and was supported by the then Opposition and, no doubt, all of Gibraltar.

In any event, if confirmed, it is important to highlight that the judgment is based on a purely procedural and technical point which has no impact whatsoever on the merits or our arguments, or on jurisdiction or on the sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters or on anything of substantive importance. In other words, all that the judgment means is that the Government is not allowed to argue this particular case in court because of a technicality. The Government is already considering alternative ways in which it will be allowed to argue the merits of its case to have the Spanish designation struck off and annulled by the European Court or by any other tribunal of competent jurisdiction.

Separately, the Government will also be seeking a full explanation from the Court as to why it has not been notified of this decision in the appropriate manner and how it has come into the hands of a press agency before it has been notified to one of the parties. In the interim, the position remains that there are absolutely no circumstances in which Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will permit British Gibraltar Territorial Water to be treated other than as waters of exclusive British sovereignty, under exclusive jurisdiction of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar.

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