Document Type : Article


1 Prof., Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in International Law, Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The principle of direct effect of the European Union law in the domestic law of the member States has been institutionalized in the European Court of Justice ́s (ECJ) case law by way of two judgments: Van Gend en Loos and Costa. The principle, which has emerged through the implementation of EU law in the domestic law of the member States and the possibility of invoking those laws in the domestic courts of the member States, has also been extended to international agreements. It means that the provisions of international agreements concluded by the EU can be invoked under the domestic law of the member States. In order for international agreements to have direct effect, a number of criteria have to met. The EU must first and foremost be bound by those agreements, and the organization should have concluded them in accordance with the powers conferred on it by the founding treaties. Those agreements must be capable of conferring rights on individuals directly. The terms of those agreements must be clear and unconditional. The provisions of the international agreements should not be contrary to the primary rules and fundamental law of the EU. Furthermore, the agreements should not have deprived the ECJ of its jurisdiction to review their direct effect. Finally, the direct effect of international agreements must not be contrary to their own object and purpose.


A) Books
1. Casolari, Federico, (2017), Acknowledgment of Direct effect of EU International agreement: Does Legal equality still matter?, In, Serena Rossi, Lucia; Casolari, Federico,(eds), The Principle of Equality in EU Law, Springer,  Claes, Monica, The primacy of EU law in Euoropean and national law, In, Arnull,  Anthony; Chalmers, Damian,(eds) the Oxford handbook European Union Law, 2015.
2. Craig, Paul; Grainne, Burca de. (2011). EU Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (5th ed.). NewYork, NY: Oxford University Press.
3.  Kaczorowska, Alina, (2013), European Union Law, Routledge-Cavendish.
4. Ziegler, Katja S., (2016), The Relationship between EU Law and International Law, In, Dennis, Patterson; Södersten, Anna(eds), A Companion to  European Union Law  and  International Law, Wiley Blackwell.
B) Articles
5. Ahlborn, Christiane, (2011), “The Rules of International Organizations and the Law of International Responsibility”, Amsterdam Center for International Law(ACIL).
6. Gilber, Eleanor, (2017), “supremacy and direct effect: necessary measures?”, North east law review, Rev. 11.
7. Robin-Olivier, Sophie, (2014) “The evolution of  direct effect in the EU: Stocktaking, problems, projections”, Oxford University Press and New York University School of  Law, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 165–188.
C) Cases
8. ECJ Judgment , Case. 12/86, Demirel v Stadt Schwäbisch Gmünd, 1987.
9. ECJ judgment,  Case 6/64, Flaminio Costa v. ENEL (Ente Nazionale Energia Elettrica (National Electricity   Board) formerly the Edison Volta undertaking.
10. ECJ Judgment,  Case C-286/90, Poulsen v. Diva Navigation,1992.
11. ECJ Judgment, Case 104/81, Hauptzollamt Mainz V. C. A. Kupferberg & CIE. KG A. A., Mainz, 26/10/1982.
12. ECJ Judgment, Case 181/73, Haegeman v Belgium, 1974.
13. ECJ Judgment, Case 294/83, Parti écologiste “Les Verts” v. European Parliament, Judgment of 23 April 1986.
14. ECJ Judgment, Case C 464/14, SECIL- Companhia Geral de Cal e Cimento SA v.Fazenda Pública, 24 November 2016.
15. ECJ Judgment, Case C-308/06, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo), Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, Lloyd’s Register, International Salvage Union, v.  Secretary of State for Transport, 3 June 2008.
16. ECJ Judgment, Case C-366/10, Air Transport Association of America, American Airlines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc., United Airlines Inc. v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 21 December 2011.
17. ECJ Judgment, Case-26/62, NV Algemene Transport- en Expeditie Onderneming van Gend & Loos v Netherlands Inland Revenue Administration ,1963.
18. ECJ Judgment, Joined Cases 60 and 61/84, Cinéthèque v Fédération nationale des cinémas franç case, 11 July 1985.
19. ECJ Judgement,Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/ 05 P, Yassin Abdullah Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v. Council of the European Union and Commission of the European Communities, 2005.
D) Documents
20. Treaty on European Union, signed on 13 December 2007.
21. Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, signed on 13 December 2007.
22. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships,  signed in London on 2 November 1973, as supplemented by the Protocol of 17 February 1978.
23. Declarations annexed to the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Conference which adopted the Treaty of Lisbon, signed on 13 December 2007 - A. Declarations Concerning Provisions of the Treaties - 17. Declaration concerning primacy , 12008E/AFI/DCL/17, Official Journal 115 , 09/05/2008 P. 0344 – 0344, .
E) Website
24. content/EN/TXT/?uri=Celex%3A12008E%2FAFI %2FDCL%2F17