ACTA to Be Examined by the European Court of Justice

The Court of Justice will decide if ACTA violates freedom of speech and human rights

By on February 22nd, 2012 15:57 GMT

The recent protests that have taken place worldwide and the more or less correct claims about its effects have made the European Commission cautious about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). As a result, the Commission decided to let the European Court of Justice examine the treaty to determine if it violates freedom of speech or human rights.

TorrentFreak informs that EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is about to refer ACTA to the European Court of Justice for a detailed analysis. Up until now, De Gucht, along with US President Barack Obama, was among the fiercest defenders of the pact, but it seems even he is influenced by the global anti-ACTA movements.

“We are planning to ask Europe’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property,” said De Gucht.

He believes that this “fog of uncertainty” that surrounds the treaty may be cleared by the European Court of Justice, also adding that he understands the discontent of the people that may be affected by the agreement.

“I share people’s concern for these fundamental freedoms. I welcome that people have voiced their concerns so actively – especially over the freedom of the internet. And I also understand that there is uncertainty on what ACTA will really mean for these key issues at the end of the day,” the commissioner added.

“So I believe that putting ACTA before the European Court of Justice is a needed step. This debate must be based upon facts and not upon the misinformation or rumor that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks.”

If at first most European countries were eager to sign ACTA, in the past couple of weeks, following the online and real-world protests, a number of states took a step back and left the European Parliament to decide its fate.

Among those countries we find Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Netherlands.

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