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Case C-94/00, Roquette Frères SA v. Directeur général de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes , 2002 E.C.R. I-9039 in French only, in English

Facts: A national court called on to give authorization for coercive measures sought by the Commission of the European Communities in the course of an investigation into an undertaking suspected of having infringed the competition rules, had to ensure that the measures were not arbitrary or disproportionate, but it could not require the Commission to produce the evidence on which its suspicions were based.

Holding: the ECJ held that the fundamental right to protection of private activity as a general principle of Community law now extended to encompass corporate premises and that searches and seizures on corporate premises must have prior court authorization to be legitimate under EU law.

Reasoning: The ECJ reaffirmed that "the need for protection against arbitrary or disproportionate intervention by public authorities in the sphere of the private activities of any person, whether natural or legal, constitutes a general principle of Community law," took into consideration the developments that had occurred in ECHR case law since it established the general right to protection of private activity in 1989 and mentioned the judgment of the ECHR in Colas Est .

 

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