Bernard Jenkin’s challenge …politics or law in EU?

Bernard Jenkin MP cited by the BBC today:

Tory backbencher Bernard Jenkin suggested Parliament could pass a law introducing a cap on EU migration by the end of the year and the issue would then be a political rather than a legal one”.

Full report at

Bernard Jenkin MP

Bernard Jenkin MP

Does this  sound familiar? It does to the hundreds of British lecturers suffering illegal discrimination in Italian Universities.

Thirty years in court, 6 judgments of the ECJ – and still no remedy.

The Commission cannot or will not solve this problem.

Disliking the ECJ judgments – Italy passed the so-called Gelmini law (Article 26 of law 240, 30 December 2010) … which re-interprets judgments of the ECJ and extinguishes legal cases before domestic courts. Unheard of in post-war Europe.

Rather than tackle Italy, a founder member of the EU, bounces the problem by back to the Italian authorities.

Europe Minister  David Lidington has consistently condemned Italy’s behavior in this case as “illegal and immoral”.

David Petrie with Minister David Lidington Foreign and Commonwealth Office London 28 November 2013

David Petrie with Minister David Lidington Foreign and Commonwealth Office London 28 November 2013

If Italy can pass laws to undo the Treaty and indeed judgments the ECJ itself … why wouldn’t Britain do the same … pass laws and kick the legal questions into the long grass for 30 years?

 See expert opinions on  Gelmini law, below – which I cited in the European Parliament,  on 25 November 2013:

 Peter Ferguson Q.C. “An astonishing statutory provision. If other Member States follow Italy’s example, the European project and more importantly, the rule of law are endangered”

Professor Brad K Blitz “ …in conflict with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights … undermines the primacy of EU law”.

Professor Noreen Burrows OBE “…has the potential to undermine the authority of the European Court of Justice by appearing to allow Member States to reinterpret the decisions of the Court to suit their purpose of perpetuating discrimination.

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2 Responses to Bernard Jenkin’s challenge …politics or law in EU?

  1. marisa severi says:

    This a battle born out of an unfortunate translation of the Italian word ‘lettore’ that has absolutely nothing to do with lecturer or lecturing. The correct transaltion is ‘Reader’ i.e someone who reads texts but does not teach and does not lecture.
    What is true is that neither the lettori -as the category was previously known as – and the CEL (language experts) as they have currently been named are not officially recognised to be teachers.
    The Universities claim we simply ‘drill’ but do not teach.
    Perhaps that’s the sort of recognition we should be aiming at which, all told, appears far more realistic.
    Marisa Severi

    • davidpetrie says:

      Dear Marisa,

      It concerns substance – not an “unfortunate” translation. The lettori taught language and literature, were full members of examining boards in the faculties and in some cases supervised theses. By law (art. 28 DPR 382) their salaries were pegged to the max of an associate professor at the start of his career.

      In 1995 Italy brought in a new category of workers – CELs – technical support staff, non-teaching staff. Nothing wrong with that – and we would support the CELs right to adequate retribution under Art 36 of the Italian constitution (which guarantees salary based on the quality and quantity of work carried out)

      The lettori had their duties scrutinized by judges – using Art. 36. and duly awarded salaries pegged to researchers and/or associate professors. (Bergamo, Catania, Padova, Pisa, Salento, Naples, Verona , Venice, among others. Under EU law they are entitled to maintain these acquired rights. The ECJ did not find 6 times in favour of the lettori over a bad translation of a single word.

      David Petrie

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