European Communities Act 1972

3 Decisions on, and proof of, Treaties and [F1EU instruments] etc.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)For the purposes of all legal proceedings any question as to the meaning or effect of any of the Treaties, or as to the validity, meaning or effect of any [F2EU instrument] , shall be treated as a question of law (and, if not referred to the European Court, be for determination as such in accordance with the principles laid down by and any relevant [F3decision of [F4the European Court])].

(2)Judicial notice shall be taken of the Treaties, of the [F5Official Journal of the European Union] and of any decision of, or expression of opinion by, the [F6the European Court] on any such question as aforesaid; and the Official Journal shall be admissible as evidence of any instrument or other act thereby communicated of [F7the EU] or of any [F8EU institution] .

(3)Evidence of any instrument issued by a [F9EU institution] , including any judgment or order of [F10the European Court] , or of any document in the custody of a [F9EU institution] , or any entry in or extract from such a document, may be given in any legal proceedings by production of a copy certified as a true copy by an official of that institution; and any document purporting to be such a copy shall be received in evidence without proof of the official position or handwriting of the person signing the certificate.

(4)Evidence of any [F11EU instrument] may also be given in any legal proceedings—

(a)by production of a copy purporting to be printed by the Queen’s Printer;

(b)where the instrument is in the custody of a government department (including a department of the Government of Northern Ireland), by production of a copy certified on behalf of the department to be a true copy by an officer of the department generally or specially authorised so to do;

and any document purporting to be such a copy as is mentioned in paragraph (b) above of an instrument in the custody of a department shall be received in evidence without proof of the official position or handwriting of the person signing the certificate, or of his authority to do so, or of the document being in the custody of the department.

(5)In any legal proceedings in Scotland evidence of any matter given in a manner authorised by this section shall be sufficient evidence of it.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Sections 3(2)-(5) extended (5.11.1993) by 1993 c. 51, s. 4

S. 3(4) extended (1.7.1999) by 1998 c. 46, s. 125, Sch. 8 para. 15(4); S.I. 1998/3178, art. 2

S. 3(3)(4): power to modify conferred (2.12.1999) by 1998 c. 47, s. 7(2); S.I 1999/3208, art. 2