European Court of Justice holds hearing into labelling of products

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) held a hearing in a case against the discriminatory labelling of Israeli products in which the French Minister of Economics and Finance in 2016 stated that products from the Golan Heights or West Bank have to be labelled as coming from Israeli settlements.

François-Henri Briard, Supreme Court Attorney of France argued at the hearing that the insistence on applying the label of “Israeli settlements” goes beyond the law, which was not designed for political labelling but rather for fair and clear information for consumers.

Briard additionally argued that this would be the case to deal with for products from over 100 different disputed territories.

Representatives from Sweden, Ireland and France, on the other hand, argued in favour of the product labelling.

“Of the hundreds of territorial disputes around the world, it is Israeli businesses alone that find themselves targeted by these unnecessary and politicized labelling requirements,” said Executive Director of The Lawfare Project Brooke Goldstein. The Lawfare Project, along with Psagot, were represented by French Supreme Court law firm Cabinet Briard and challenged the labelling request.

“The importance of the Court’s decision shouldn’t be overstated: it will either end this double standard against Israel or legitimise it across Europe,” Goldstein continued. “I hope the Court grasps this opportunity to end the double standard.”

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