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Supreme Court Reference to European Court of Justice


The Supreme Court has referred questions to the CJEU on the extent of the right of residence conferred by Article 7 of the Citizenship Directive (2004/38).

The case concerns a French teacher, Jessy St Prix, who stopped working as a nursery school assistant  due to the physical constraints of the late stages of pregnancy. She was then refused Income Support on the basis that she was no longer a ‘worker' within the meaning of EU law.

The Court of Appeal had held that the refusal was lawful and not discriminatory. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Ms St Prix submitted that it was contrary to EU law for her to be denied Income Support. The Respondent Secretary of State resisted the appeal, and the Intervener (the Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) submitted that there should be a reference to the Court of Justice.

The Supreme Court has asked the CJEU whether Article 7 is capable of including as ‘workers' women who reasonably give up work, or seeking work, because of the physical constraints of late pregnancy and the aftermath of childbirth. It also asks whether such women are entitled to rely on the national law definition of when it is reasonable to give up work.

The judgment is here.

Jemima Stratford QC appeared for the Intervener