Sunday, May 27, 2018

KROMBACH V. FRANCE


In its decision in the case of Krombach v. France (application no. 67521/14) the European Court of
Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.
The case concerned Mr Krombach’s criminal conviction in France for events in respect of which he
submitted that he had previously been acquitted in Germany. The facts concerned the
circumstances surrounding the death of Kalinka Bamberski in 1982 at Mr Krombach’s home in
Germany. The case raised the question of the right not to be tried or punished twice (ne bis in idem).
Pursuant to its constant case-law, the Court held that Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried
or punished twice) did not prevent an individual from being prosecuted or punished by the courts of
a State Party to the Convention on the grounds of an offence of which he or she had been acquitted
or convicted by a final judgment in another State Party. Since Mr Krombach had been prosecuted by
courts in two different States, namely Germany and France, Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 did not apply.

Principal facts

The applicant, Dieter Krombach, is a German national who was born in 1935. According to the
information available to the Court, he is in prison in Paris.
Kalinka Bamberski, aged 15, was Mr Krombach’s stepdaughter and the daughter of
André Bamberski. The latter had lodged a complaint in Germany and France against Mr Krombach,
whom he suspected of raping and then murdering his daughter. Between 1982 and 1986 the
German authorities carried out several investigations and issued four decisions discontinuing
proceedings, on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to justify a prosecution. As Ms
Bamberski was a French national, criminal proceedings had also been opened in France against Mr
Krombach.
In 1995 the Paris Assize Court sentenced him in his absence to 15 years’ imprisonment for assault
resulting in unintentional death. In its judgment Krombach v. France (no. 29731/96) of 13 February
2001, the European Court of Human Rights held that this conviction had been in violation of Article 6
(right to a fair trial) of the Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 7 (right of appeal in criminal
matters). By a judgment of 10 December 2008, the Court of Cassation quashed and set aside, in the
interests of the law, the assize court judgment of 1995.
Mr Krombach remained at liberty in Germany until André Bamberski organised his abduction and
removal to France: on 18 October 2009 he was deposited in Mulhouse (France), having been tied up,
gagged and injured; he was arrested and placed in pre-trial detention. In October 2011 the Paris
Assize Court sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment for assault resulting in Ms Bamberski’s
unintentional death. That judgment was upheld on appeal, and an appeal on points of law by
Mr Krombach was dismissed.

Complaints, procedure and composition of the Court

The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 9 October 2014.
Mr Krombach complained of a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried or
punished twice).
The decision was given by a Chamber of seven, composed as follows:
Angelika Nußberger (Germany), President,
Erik Møse (Norway),
Ganna Yudkivska (Ukraine),
André Potocki (France),
Síofra O’Leary (Ireland),
Mārtiņš Mits (Latvia),
Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer (Austria), Judges,
and also Milan Blaško, Deputy Section Registrar.

Decision of the Court

Article 4 of Protocol No. 7

The Court had consistently held that Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 only concerned “courts in the same
State” and therefore did not prevent an individual from being prosecuted or punished by the courts
of a State Party to the Convention on the grounds of an offence of which he or she had been
acquitted or convicted by a final judgment in another State Party.

Furthermore, the Court considered that the fact that France and Germany were members of the
European Union did not affect the applicability of Article 4 of Protocol No. 7. Although European
Union law lent a trans-State dimension to the ne bis in idem principle at the EU level, the Court
reiterated that it had no jurisdiction to apply European Union rules or to assess alleged violations of
the latter, unless and in so far as such violations might have infringed the rights secured under the
Convention. It was therefore not the Court’s task to judge whether Mr Krombach’s prosecution in
France and his subsequent conviction had contravened European Union law. Moreover, the Court
emphasised that the Convention did not prevent States Parties from granting wider legal protection
to the rights and freedoms which it guaranteed than that which it implemented under domestic law,
other international treaties or European Union law.

In conclusion, the Court held that since Mr Krombach’s prosecution had been carried out by courts
in two different States, that is to say Germany and France, Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 did not apply to
the present case.

The complaint under Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 was incompatible with the provisions of the
Convention. It therefore had to be rejected as being inadmissible.

The decision is available only in French

(This press release is a document produced by the Registry)

Un comentario sobre esta decisión de inadmisibilidad:

"Although France and Germany are both EU Member States and a broader, “transnational” ne bis in idem rule in the form of Article 54 of the Convention on the Implementation of the Schengen Agreement is in force within the EU, this provision has no bearing on the scope of application of Article 4 of Protocol 7 ECHR. The Court finds that it lacks competence to apply rules contained in EU law or to rule on a possible breach of those rules, except where a breach of a rule of EU law incidentally also breaches a right from the Convention. It is therefore up to the member states and in particular the national judiciary to interpret and apply national law in the light of the applicable provisions of Union law, and the Court is not in a position to rule on a potential breach of EU law. The application is declared inadmissible. In itself the decision does not come as a surprise given the wording of Article 4 of Protocol 7 ECHR. Although the question of the international (non-)application of that provision was debated around the time that the 7th Protocol was drafted and adopted (1984), that debate has now been put to rest because the wording of the provision excludes the possibility of international application of the ne bis in idem provision contained in it.

The decision raises interest because of what the Court says about its own role in relation to European Union law. In the decision, the Court sets out a seemingly straightforward division of tasks under which the national judiciary interprets and applies national law in the light of any relevant EU law. According to it, the ECtHR “merely” establishes the compatibility of the result with ECHR law, without prejudice to any national or EU arrangement in the field of human rights. This could be interpreted as further clarifying where the line between EU and ECHR law is drawn as far as the Court is concerned, while at the same time making it clear that the Court does not intend to overstep

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LA REVOCACIÓN DE LOS ACTOS TRIBUTARIOS

La figura de la revocación de los actos tributarios se halla prevista en el art. 219 de la Ley 58/2003, de 17 de diciembre, General Tributaria:



La figura de la revocación de los actos tributarios se halla prevista en el art. 219 de la Ley 58/2003, de 17 de diciembre, General Tributaria -LGT- (EDL 2003/149899). Dicho instituto se presentó como una de las grandes novedades de la vigente LGT durante la tramitación de dicho texto. Así, por ejemplo, se recogía en el Diario de Sesiones del Congreso de 25 de septiembre de 2003, p. 14740. Sin embargo, no deja de ser un precepto que presenta notorias ambigüedades e imprecisiones, a lo que han contribuido también las grandes discrepancias existentes, para doctrina y Jurisprudencia sobre su propia naturaleza jurídica.
Estudiaremos en el presente trabajo la verdadera naturaleza de esta controvertida figura, intentando encontrar el espíritu del legislador cuando diseñó la misma, y que, en mi opinión presenta una gran tendencia expansiva que, sin embargo, la Jurisprudencia del TS no ha sabido valorar, sin llegar a comprender el verdadero alcance que le quiso dar el legislador, y desconociendo, sobre todo, que se trata de una figura jurídica al servicio de la Justicia tributaria. El art. 219 LGT es un precepto que tiene una enorme virtualidad y extensión jurídica, pero que su inicio de oficio no puede hacer desconocer la verdadera naturaleza jurídica de esta figura, hasta el punto de distorsionar la misma, como así ha parecido entender la reciente Jurisprudencia del Tribunal­ Supremo -TS-, no obstante las previsiones favorables que hacía vislumbrar la Sentencia del TS de 19 de febrero de 2014 (EDJ 2014/42856).
En todo caso, el objeto de este trabajo no pretende tanto realizar un estudio sistemático de la revocación de los actos tributarios, como de analizar las cuestiones más problemáticas que plantea la nueva doctrina del TS, en relación con la naturaleza y alcance de dicho instituto, hasta el punto de que puede llegar a poner en cuestión la esencia del mismo, aunque parezca que en el ámbito local pueda dar mucho juego.
Magistrado de la Audiencia Nacional.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

EL PLÁSTICO MATA

Conceptos Básicos: Descubre la verdad sobre la contaminación por plásticos y sus efectos tóxicos en las personas y el medio ambiente

Friday, April 27, 2018

STJUE DEISTER HOLDING Y JUHLER HOLDING, C-504/16 Y C-613-16

__TITLE__: EUR-Lex - 62016CJ0504 - EN - EUR-Lex



Sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia (Sala Sexta) de 20 de diciembre de 2017.
Deister Holding AG als Gesamtrechtsnachfolger der Firma Traxx Investments N.V. y Juhler Holding A/S contra Bundeszentralamt für Steuern.
Peticiones de decisión prejudicial planteadas por el Finanzgericht Köln.
Procedimiento prejudicial — Fiscalidad directa — Libertad de establecimiento — Directiva 90/435/CEE — Artículo 1, apartado 2 — Artículo 5 — Sociedad matriz — Sociedad de cartera — Retención en origen sobre los beneficios distribuidos a una sociedad matriz de cartera no residente — Exención — Fraude, evasión y abuso en materia fiscal — Presunción.
Asuntos acumulados C-504/16 y C-613/16.


 Sobre el fondo
44      Mediante sus cuestiones prejudiciales, que procede examinar de forma conjunta, el órgano jurisdiccional remitente pregunta, en esencia, si el artículo 1, apartado 2, de la Directiva sobre matrices y filiales, en relación con el artículo 5, apartado 1, de dicha Directiva, por una parte, y el artículo 49 TFUE, por otra parte, deben interpretarse en el sentido de que se oponen a una normativa tributaria de un Estado miembro como la controvertida en los litigios principales, que, cuando posean participaciones de una sociedad matriz no residente personas que no tendrían derecho a la devolución o a la exención de la retención en origen si percibieran directamente los dividendos procedentes de una filial residente, niega a esa sociedad matriz la exención del impuesto sobre los rendimientos del capital correspondiente al reparto de dividendos en caso de que se cumpla al menos uno de los requisitos establecidos por dicha normativa.
(...)
63      En lo referente a la normativa controvertida en los litigios principales, de los autos de que dispone el Tribunal de Justicia se desprende que, en el caso de que posean participaciones en una sociedad matriz no residente personas que no tendrían derecho a la exención de la retención en origen si percibieran directamente los dividendos procedentes de una filial establecida en Alemania, esta normativa somete la concesión del disfrute de la ventaja fiscal que representa la exención de la retención en origen, prevista en el artículo 5, apartado 1, de la Directiva sobre matrices y filiales, a la exigencia de que no se cumpla ninguno de las tres requisitos establecidos en esa misma normativa, a saber, que no existan razones sólidas, ya sea económicas o de otro tipo, que justifiquen la interposición de la sociedad matriz no residente, que la sociedad matriz no residente no obtenga de su propia actividad económica más del 10 % de sus ingresos brutos totales en el ejercicio de que se trate, o que la sociedad matriz no residente no participe en el tráfico económico general con un establecimiento adecuado para su propio objeto social, sin tener en cuenta las características relevantes, organizativas, económicas o de otro tipo, de las empresas que tengan vínculos con la sociedad matriz no residente. Asimismo, no se considera que una sociedad matriz no residente que obtiene sus ingresos brutos de la administración de activos o transfiere sus principales actividades a terceros ejerza una actividad económica propia.
64      A este respecto, debe señalarse, en primer lugar, que la normativa controvertida en los litigios principales no tiene por objeto específicamente excluir del disfrute de una ventaja fiscal los montajes puramente artificiales cuya finalidad sea acogerse indebidamente a esta ventaja, sino que comprende, de manera general, toda situación en la que posean participaciones en una sociedad matriz no residente personas que no tendrían derecho a tal exención si percibieran los dividendos directamente.
65      Ahora bien, el mero hecho de que posean tales participaciones personas con esas características no implica, por sí solo, la existencia de un montaje puramente artificial, carente de realidad económica, creado únicamente con el fin de acogerse indebidamente a una ventaja fiscal.
66      En este contexto, debe precisarse que no se desprende de ninguna disposición de la Directiva sobre matrices y filiales que el tratamiento fiscal reservado a las personas que poseen participaciones en sociedades matrices residentes en la Unión o que el origen de dichas personas afecten en modo alguno al derecho de estas sociedades a beneficiarse de las ventajas fiscales establecidas en esta Directiva.
(...)
70      En segundo lugar, en la medida en que esta misma normativa, en el caso de que se cumpla uno de los tres requisitos establecidos por ella, no concede a la sociedad matriz no residente la posibilidad de aportar elementos de prueba que demuestren la existencia de motivos económicos, establece, además, una presunción iuris et de iure de fraude o abuso.
71      En tercer lugar, estos requisitos, tanto si se consideran de forma individual como conjunta, no pueden, por sí solos, implicar la existencia de un fraude o de un abuso.
72      En efecto, a este respecto procede señalar que la Directiva sobre matrices y filiales no contiene ninguna exigencia en cuanto a la naturaleza de la actividad económica de las sociedades que están comprendidas en su ámbito de aplicación o en cuanto al importe de los ingresos procedentes de la actividad económica propia de éstas.
73      Pues bien, el hecho de que la actividad económica de la sociedad matriz no residente consista en la administración de activos de sus filiales o de que los ingresos de esta sociedad matriz sólo procedan de esta administración no puede, por sí sola, implicar la existencia de un montaje puramente artificial, carente de toda realidad económica. En este contexto, el hecho de que no se considere que la administración de activos constituye una actividad económica en el marco del impuesto sobre el valor añadido es irrelevante, dado que el impuesto controvertido en los litigios principales y el impuesto mencionado tienen marcos jurídicos distintos, cada uno de los cuales persigue objetivos diferentes.
(...)

75      En atención a las consideraciones anteriores, procede señalar que el artículo 1, apartado 2, de la Directiva sobre matrices y filiales, en relación con el artículo 5, apartado 1, de esta Directiva, debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa fiscal nacional como la controvertida en los litigios principales.




El artículo 1, apartado 2, de la Directiva 90/435/CEE del Consejo, de 23 de julio de 1990, relativa al régimen fiscal común aplicable a las sociedades matrices y filiales de Estados miembros diferentes, en la versión modificada por la Directiva 2006/98/CE del Consejo, de 20 de noviembre de 2006, en relación con el artículo 5, apartado 1, de la Directiva, por una parte, y el artículo 49 TFUE, por otra parte, deben interpretarse en el sentido de que se oponen a una normativa tributaria de un Estado miembro como la controvertida en los litigios principales, que, cuando poseen participaciones en una sociedad matriz no residente personas que no tendrían derecho a la devolución o a la exención de la retención en origen si percibieran directamente los dividendos procedentes de una filial residente, niega a esa sociedad matriz la exención del impuesto sobre los rendimientos del capital correspondiente al reparto de dividendos en caso de que se cumpla al menos uno de los requisitos establecidos por dicha normativa.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

INGENIERIA DEL PÚBLICO: GRANDES DATOS, VIGILANCIA Y POLITICA COMPUTACIONAL

Engineering the public: Big data, surveillance and computational politics



Digital technologies have given rise to a new combination of big data
and computational practices which allow for massive, latent data
collection and sophisticated computational modeling, increasing the
capacity of those with resources and access to use these tools to carry
out highly effective, opaque and unaccountable campaigns of persuasion
and social engineering in political, civic and commercial spheres. I
examine six intertwined dynamics that pertain to the rise of
computational politics: the rise of big data, the shift away from
demographics to individualized targeting, the opacity and power of
computational modeling, the use of persuasive behavioral science,
digital media enabling dynamic real-time experimentation, and the growth
of new power brokers who own the data or social media environments. I
then examine the consequences of these new mechanisms on the public
sphere and political campaigns.



On the surface, this century has ushered in new digital technologies
that brought about new opportunities for participation and collective
action by citizens. Social movements around the world, ranging from the
Arab uprisings to the Occupy movement in the United States (Gitlin,
2012), have made use of these new technologies to organize dissent
against existing local, national and global power [11].

Such effects are real and surely they are part of the story of the
rise of the Internet. However, history of most technologies shows that
those with power find ways to harness the power of new technologies and
turn it into a means to further their own power (Spar, 2001). From the
telegraph to the radio, the initial period of disruption was followed by
a period of consolidation in which challengers were incorporated into
transformed power structures, and disruption gave rise to entrenchment.
There are reasons to think that the Internet’s trajectory may have some
differences though there is little reason to think that it will escape
all historical norms.

The dynamics outlined in this paper for computational politics
require access to expensive proprietary databases, often controlled by
private platforms, and the equipment and expertise required to
effectively use this data. At a minimum, this environment favors
incumbents who already have troves of data, and favors entrenched and
moneyed candidates within parties, as well as the data–rich among
existing parties. The trends are clear. The selling of politicians — as
if they were “products” — will become more expansive and improved, if
more expensive. In this light, it is not a complete coincidence that the
“chief data scientist” for the Obama 2012 campaign was previously
employed by a supermarket to “maximize the efficiency of sales
promotions.” And while the data advantage is held, for the moment, by
the Democratic party in the United States, it will likely available to
the highest bidder in future campaigns.

A recent peek into public’s unease with algorithmic manipulation was
afforded by the massive negative reaction to a study conducted by
Facebook and Cornell which experimentally manipulated the emotional
tenor of the hundreds of thousands of people’s newsfeed in an effort to
see if emotional contagion could occur online (Kramer, et al.,
2014). The authors stated their results “indicate that emotions
expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting
experimental evidence for massive–scale contagion via social networks.”
While both the level of stimulus and the corresponding effect size were
on the small side, the broad and negative reaction suggests that
algorithmic manipulation generates discomfort exactly because it is
opaque, powerful and possibly non–consensual (study authors pointed to
the Facebook’s terms–of–service as indication of consent) in an
environment of information asymmetry.


The methods of computational politics will, and already are, also
used in other spheres such as marketing, corporate campaigns, lobbying
and more. The six dynamics outlined in this paper — availability of big
data, shift to individual targeting, the potential and opacity of
modeling, the rise of behavioral science in the service of persuasion,
dynamic experimentation, and the growth of new power brokers on the
Internet who control the data and algorithms — will affect many aspects
of life in this century. More direct research, as well as critical and
conceptual analysis, is crucial to increase both our understanding and
awareness of this information environment, as well as to consider policy
implications and responses. Similar to campaign finance laws, it may be
that data use in elections needs regulatory oversight thanks to its
effects on campaigning, governance and privacy. Starting an empirically
informed, critical discussion of data politics now may be the first
important step in asserting our agency with respect to big data that is
generated by us and about us, but is increasingly being used at us