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By Carl Baudenbacher, Per Tresselt, Thorgeir Orlygsson

At the social gathering of its 10th anniversary, the EFTA (European unfastened alternate contract) court docket held a convention at which audio system have been requested to mirror at the case legislation of the court docket and its position within the ecu financial zone (EEA). during its paintings, the court docket has acted as a driver of integration lower than the EEA contract, through constructing basic rules, resembling country legal responsibility, and giving landmark judgments in numerous parts of ecu legislations. The essays during this quantity, by way of major specialists and high-ranking representatives of nationwide and ecu courts, disguise parts resembling the connection among the primary of unfastened stream and nationwide or collective personal tastes at the EU/EEA and WTO degrees, the connection among the ecu courts and the member states in eu integration, homogeneity as a basic precept of eu integration, and the significance of judicial discussion. this can be the 1st and basically ebook to examine the achievements of the EFTA court docket and may be the 1st aspect of reference for an individual assessing the legislation of EFTA.

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59 See the written submissions of the Norwegian government in cases Restamark (Case E–1/04 Report for the Hearing (1994) 95 EFTA Ct Rep 15, points 89 ff); Sveinbjörnsdóttir (Case E–7/97 Report for the Hearing [1998] EFTA Ct Rep 127, points 66 ff); and Karlsson (Case E–4/01 Report for the Hearing [2002] EFTA Ct Rep 240, points 51 ff) and of the Icelandic and the Swedish government in Sveinbjörnsdóttir (Case E–7/97 Report for the Hearing [1998] EFTA Ct Rep 127, points 52 ff, 76 ff) as well as the oral submissions of the Swedish government in Restamark.

The development described above shows that similarly to the European Convention on Human Rights (as held by the European Court of Human Rights on many occasions),81 the EEA Agreement is a living instrument, which in particular due to the homogeneity link with the Community may need interpretation in light of present-day circumstances. 82 Opinion 1/91 led to a certain disappointment in EFTA circles at the time it was rendered. Seen from today, it was the right thing to do to bury the idea of creating an EEA Court (which would have become a mixed breed) and to establish a structurally fully independent EFTA Court.

Both the ECJ and the CFI have made important contributions to the homogeneous development of the case law in the EEA as a whole in a way that could hardly have been foreseen ten years ago. 4 Case C–104/81 Kupferberg [1982] ECR 3641. Swiss Supreme Court, BGE 104 IV 175(1978)—Adams; 105 II 49(1979)—Omo; Supreme Court of Austria of 10 July 1979, Austro–Mechana/GRAMOLA Winter & Co, Revue Internationale du Droit d’Auteur 1980, no 104, GRUR Int 1980, 185. 6 See U Bernitz, ‘The EEC-EFTA free Trade Agreements with special reference to the position of Sweden and the other Scandinavian EFTA Countries’ (1986) CML Rev 567, 578; J Forman, ‘The EEA Agreement Five Years On: Dynamic Homogeneity in Practice and its Implantation by the Two EEA Courts’ (1999) CML Rev 751.

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