An Alysis of the Case "Omega Spielhallen V Bonn"

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An analysis of the Omega Spielhallen v Bonn case

Omega Spielhallen v Bonn was a case which was presented before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and which involved a German firm and German authorities. This case constitutes a good illustration of how European law works and of the interaction between State Courts and European institutions. Also, it was a case of prime importance for Human Rights in the Community since the ECJ ruled that fundamental human rights, whether they arise from the Constitutions of the Member States or from provisions of the ECHC, can limit the freedom to provide services. The firm Omega was producing combat games which gave the users the opportunity to "play at killing" with lasers. The Bonn police saw this activity as a threat to public secturity and prohibited it. However, the firm objected against this provision and the case was brought before the German Federal Court. The main argument of this Court was that the game was an affront to human dignity as guaranteed by the first Article of the German Constitution. However, it decided to refer a question to the European Court of Justice, because the prohibition of 'laserdome' was not compaticle with fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the EC Treaty, such as the freedom to provide services and the free movement of goods. This issue was raised because Omega was buying material to assemble the laser from a British company, which, after this prohibition was 'prevented from providing services' to a consumer, from another Member State. The Court asked; 'to what extent the restriction which the referring court has found to exist is capable of affecting the freedom to provide services and the free movement of goods, which are governed by different Treaty provisions ?'. The ECJ eventually confirmed that the protection of fundamental rights justifies, a restriction upon fundamental freedoms.…...

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