‘Direct and Individual Concern’ for Newfoundland’s Sealing Industry? – When a Legal Concept and Empirical Data Collide

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Nikolas Sellheim
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In the court cases aiming to annul EU Regulation 1007/2009 on trade in seal products the European Courts have inter alia ruled that a ‘direct and individual’ concern, a precondition for providing locus standi for the annulment of a contested regulation, does not exist for the commercial sealing industry in Canada. Based on Community case-law, the principle of ‘direct and individual concern’ is therefore interpreted in a restrictive manner, yet without hinting towards judicial activism. This article aims to ascertain whether this interpretation can be brought in conjunction with empirical findings stemming from field work conducted in the sealing industry in Newfoundland or whether the legal concept and empirical data contradict each other. While analysing the legal reasoning of the courts in two exemplary cases, a case study of three workers in the industry is presented to provide ethnographic insight into the commercial sealing industry and to provide empirical data on the ‘direct and individual concern’ of developments in the EU for them.

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