Mar 11 2009

European court invalidates secret carry-on baggage blacklist

In a judgment announced yesterday, the European Court of Justice has ruled that a secret list promulgated by the European Commission, specifying items to be prohibited from airline carry-on baggage, cannot be enforced against individual airline passengers because it was not made public:

The annex to Commission Regulation (EC) No 622/2003 of 4 April 2003 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 68/2004 of 15 January 2004, which was not published in the Official Journal of the European Union, has no binding force in so far as it seeks to impose obligations on individuals.

The decison means that the original plaintiff, Gottfried Heinrich, who was ordered off a plane before it departed from Vienna Airport because he had carried on an item on the secret list (to wit, a tennis racket), is now free to sue the airline and/or the airport operator in an Austrian court for damages.

Read More