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The Constitutional Court confirmed the constitutionality of decisions in favour of the clients of bankrupt travel agencies

23/08/2012

As of 21 July, clients of bankrupt travel agencies, who are being represented by Klára Havlíčková, an attorney at the law firm Holubová advokáti, are a step closer to victory against insurance companies that are refusing to indemnify them the full price that they paid for a package tour. Those who have hitherto not taken action should do so within four years of a travel agency becoming bankrupt; otherwise, their claim against the insurance company will become statute-barred. The decision on the bankruptcy of the travel agency Parkam Holidays was reached on 10 August 2011.


On Tuesday, 21 July, the Constitutional Court dismissed the constitutional complaint filed by the insurance company Pojišťovna Generali against the decision of the Prague 2 District Court, which ordered it to indemnify clients of the travel agency Parkam Holidays the full price that they paid for a package tour. The Prague 2 District Court recognised that Czech law needs to be interpreted in line with European Union Directive 90/314 on package travel, package holidays and package tours, which imposes on the Czech Republic the obligation to guarantee that clients have everything returned to them. The Constitutional Court confirmed that the deliberations of the Prague 2 District Court were correct. It states that if a Czech regulation is adopted for the purpose of implementing a directive, as was in the case in the matter at hand, it is assumed that the legislator’s aim was to comply with the directive. It further emphasised that if a general court is to decide between two interpretations where one conforms to EU law, i.e., it complies with the directive, and the other does not, the interpretation that conforms to EU law shall be given preference.

The Constitutional Court clearly agreed with the argumentation put forth by the clients represented by attorney Klára Havlíčková of the law firm Holubová advokáti.


Pojišťovna Generali is now considering taking the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Theoretically, it has the right to do so; however, as a law firm specialising in travel law, we cannot fail to mention that according to the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Ilona Baradics case, only a national court, which the Constitution Court surely is as well, is authorised to decide whether a specific national legal regulation is an effective guarantee for a refund of all financial means paid.