EU Court of Justice ruling on free access to harmonized standards

Judge's hammer with European flag in the background ©Ralf -

The Court of Justice of the EU has delivered its judgment in the "Malamud" case (Case C-588/21 P) concerning free access to harmonized technical standards. The case had been brought by two non-profit organisations whose focus is to make the law freely accessible to all citizens.

Relying in particular on the principle of the rule of law and the principle of free access to the law, the Court finds that there is an overriding public interest in disclosure of the harmonised standards in question. For this reason, and because these documents form part of  EU law, access to them is justified for any citizen of the European Union, and any natural or legal person residing in a Member State. 

As harmonised standards may specify the rights conferred on individuals and their obligations, the Court considers that the possibility for citizens to acquaint themselves with those standards may be necessary in order to enable them to verify whether a given product or service actually complies with the requirements of such legislation.

Presse release of the EU Court of Justice
Judgment of the Court

The ruling will have a significant impact on standardization work in Europe. This affects not only its funding, but also, for example, the cooperation with the international standards organizations ISO and IEC.