Van Duyn v Home Office

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Van Duyn v Home Office
European stars.svg
Full case name Yvonne van Duyn v Home Office.
Case number C-41/74
Case Type Reference for a preliminary ruling
Nationality of parties Nederlands
United Kingdom
Procedural history [1975] Ch 358
1. Member States could exclude a national from another state on public policy grounds based only on the personal conduct of that individual.
Legislation affecting
art. 48 EEC
art. 177 EEC

Van Duyn v Home Office (1974) C-41/74) was a case of the 1974 European Court of Justice concerning the free movement of workers between member states.[1]


Yvonne Van Duyn, a Dutch national, claimed the British Government, through the Home Secretary, infringed TFEU article 45(3) (then TEEC art 48(3)) by denying her an entry permit to work at the Church of Scientology. The Free Movement of Workers Directive 64/221/EC article 3(1) also set out that a public policy provision had to be 'based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned'. The UK had not done anything to expressly implement this element of the Directive. The government had believed Scientology to be harmful to mental health, and discouraged it but did not make it illegal. She sued, citing the Treaty of Rome and Community law, arguing that the Directive should apply to bind the UK. She was not being refused because of 'personal conduct'. Pennycuick VC referred the case to the European Court of Justice. The Home Office argued the provision was not directly effective, because it left the Government the discretion to apply exceptions to free movement.


The European Court of Justice held that Van Duyn could be denied entry if it was for reasons related to her personal conduct, as outlined in the Directive 64/22/EEC. TEEC article 48 was directly effective, even though the application of the provision was 'subject to judicial control'. Furthermore, the Directive was directly effective against the UK government. First, it would be incompatible with the binding effect of Directives to exclude the possibility of direct effect. Second, the practical efficacy of the Directive would be reduced unless individuals could invoke them before national courts. Third, because the ECJ has jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings under TFEU article 267 (then TEEC article 177) on 'acts of the institutions... of the Union' this implied all acts should be directly effective.


In 1980 the British Government's policy of discouraging Scientology was repealed after a parliamentary review. Since Van Duyn the Court of Justice indicated more restrictive approach advanced in R v Bouchereau, that activities must be socially harmful.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Volcansek, Mary L. (1997). Law Above Nations. University Press of Florida. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-8130-1537-8. 
  2. ^ Steiner and Woods pg 553