2016/6/15 - 30 Cdo 3598/2014 (summary)

Judgement of the Supreme Court dated 15 June 2016, file number 30 Cdo 3598/2014

(maladministration, home birth)

The judgement related to the examination of an entitlement for non-proprietary damage resulting from maladministration. The plaintiff alleged a maladministration claim by the state as it did not ensure care during home births, and had not enacted the necessary legislation. Due to the fact the plaintiff had to give birth at home without a qualified care. The courts of the first and second instances dismissed the action. In the application for appellate review the plaintiff objected to the decisions stating that the courts omitted Art. 8 of Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Art. 10 para. 2 of Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She also stated in the application for appellate review that the Czech Republic had just formally implemented the Parliament and Council Directive No. 2005/36/EC and the Council Directive No. 80/155/EEC dealing with approach to midwives’ activities and its implementation, which she considered as breach of obligations resulting from the EU law, constituting maladministration.

In its judgement the Supreme Court continued the settled practice and stated that as a matter of principle legislative activity may not have been considered as maladministration, which applied also to the government’s statutes. Considering the plaintiff’s arguments the Supreme Court stated that there wasn’t a rule in the Czech legislation that would have ordered the state bodies to ensure medical care during home births, and the obligation may not have been deduced from Art. 8 of the Convention as well. Then, the appellate court reviewing appeals in the reasoning of its judgement dealt with the issue of relationship between the EU legislature and responsibility of the state for damage in accordance with the national regulations, and it came to the conclusion that no article of the Council Directive No. 80/155/EEC imposed a duty to ensure medical care for pregnant women during home births by a midwives, and the Czech legal regulation enabling midwives to help women during physiological births in health care institutions did not contradict the above-mentioned Directive. The Directives were adopted to eliminate discrimination of midwives coming from individual member states of the European Union on the basis of nationality, and to ensure their free movement and freedom of settlement, and not to determine conditions for providing medical services. That is why the Supreme Court dismissed the application for appellate review.