Europees recht – Faccini Dori

  • Datum: 14 juli 1994

  • Rechtbankniveau: HvJEU

  • Rechtsgebied: Europees recht

  • Wetsartikelen: /


This judgment concerns the answer to the question referred for a preliminary ruling in a dispute between Faccini Dori and Recreb Srl. Without having been previously approached by her, Interdiffusion Srl concluded a contract with Faccini Dori at the Milan Central Railway station for an English language correspondence course. Thus, the contract was concluded away from Interdiffusion’s business premises.

Some days later and by registered letter, Faccini Dori informed the company that she was cancelling her order. In the meantime, Interdiffusion had assigned its claim to Recreb Srl. On June 24th, 1989, Faccini Dori wrote to Recreb Srl confirming that she had cancelled her subscription to the course, indicating that she relied on the right of cancellation provided for by Directive 85/577/EEC, concerning protection of the consumer in respect of contracts negotiated away from business premises.

At the time of these events (January 23rd, 1989), Italy had not taken any steps to transpose the directive into national law, although the period set for transposition had expired on December 23rd, 1987. The directive was transposed into national law on January 15th, 1992 and was entered into force on March 3rd, 1992.

The following question was referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling:
‘Is Community Directive 85/577/EEC of December 20th, 1985 to be regarded as sufficiently precise and detailed and, if so, was it capable, in the period between the expiry of the 24-month time-limit given to the Member States to comply with it, of taking effect as between individuals and the Italian State as between individuals themselves?’
In short, the judge was asked whether it was possible to apply the provisions of the directive, while at the time of the events these had not yet been transposed into national law.

Court of Justice

According to the Court, the provisions of the directive are sufficiently precise to enable the national court to determine upon whom, and for whose benefit, the obligations are imposed.
In the absence of measures transposing the directive within the prescribed time-limit consumers cannot derive from the directive itself a right of cancellation against traders with whom they have concluded a contract or enforce such a right in a national court. However, when applying provisions of national law, whether adopted before or after the directive, the national court must interpret them as far as possible in the light of the wording and purpose of the directive.