January 23
2022
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Emilija Berzanskaite
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10th January 2022
Consumer, Health & Environment Institutional law Justice & Litigation

Public.Resource.Org appeals General Court’s decision rejecting its request to access certain technical standards

Official publication has been made of an appeal brought by Public.Resource.Org, Inc. and Right to Know CLG (C-588/21 P) against the judgment of the General Court (T-185/19), which confirmed the Commission’s refusal to give access to a set of documents containing descriptions of four technical standards prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).

The applicants, which are two non-profit organisations focusing on making the law freely accessible to all citizens, contend that the requested documents are harmonised standards which, having been published in the Official Journal, become part of the law of the EU and therefore cannot be protected by copyright, and should be public as a basic requirement of the rule of law. The Commission, however, refused to grant access to these documents on the grounds that they are protected by copyright as provided by the exception in Article 4(2), first indent, of Regulation 1049/2001. On 14 July 2021, the General Court upheld the Commission’s decision (read more in Maurizia De Bellis’s Op-Ed here).

Public.Resource.Org and Right to Know in their appeal seek to set aside the General Court’s judgment and to get access to the requested documents. In essence, the applicants argue that the Court erred in its assessment of the application of the exception of Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, particularly, by incorrectly assessing the copyright protection and the effect on commercial interests, and erred in law by not recognising an overriding public interest. 

Read the officially published appeal here

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