Crown Van Gelder decision – more clarity on scope of energy dispute resolution procedure?

Under the EU Electricity Market Directive and the Dutch Electricity Act 1998, parties in the Netherlands may refer a complaint against a transmission or distribution system operator in relation to that operator’s obligations under this Directive to the Dutch regulatory authority (Consumer and Market Authority), by means of an out-of-court dispute settlement procedure. In its 8 October 2020 judgment in Crown Van Gelder, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) clarified which complainants have standing before the national regulatory authority to lodge a claim against a transmission or distribution system operator under the Dutch out-of-court energy dispute resolution procedure.

The main question the ECJ had to resolve was whether final consumers with no direct or contractual relationship with a transmission or distribution system operator had the right to lodge a claim against them under the Dutch expedited energy dispute resolution procedure. In particular, the ECJ had to give its interpretation of Article 37(11) of the EU Electricity Market Directive (which was implemented by Section 51(1) of the Dutch Electricity Act 1998) on the scope of the term: ‘Any party having a complaint’.

In this ILO article, Jan Erik Janssen and Sander Wagemakers discuss the impact of the Crown van Gelder by providing the legislative background and legal analysis of this case. Furthermore, they address the legal consequences of this case for transmission system operators with regard to civil liability under Dutch law. Click here for the article.

For further information on this topic please contact Jan Erik Janssen or Sander Wagemakers  (+316 20 530 52 00 / or

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