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Cowan v Trésor public , Case 186/87, 1989 ECR 195

Facts: the applicant was a British tourist in France who was mugged while leaving a French subway station. French law provided for compensation for the harm suffered in such circumstances when the victim is French, holds a residence permit, or is a national of a country which has entered into a reciprocal agreement on the matter with France. Britain and France had no reciprocal agreement.

Complaint: the applicant claimed the French Government discriminated against him on the basis of nationality

Holding: the ECJ found a violation of Community Law

Reasoning: the applicant should have been treated the same as a French national in the sphere of Criminal injuries compensation, on the basis that as a recipient of services a tourist was entitled to take advantage of the freedom of provision of services concept set out in Article 49EC. Everyone is a potential recipient of services so every citizen crossing Member State borders inside the Community is protected by the free movement principle and the right to equal protection in the Member States he or she visits.



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