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Supreme Court of Denmark

T acquitted for contravention of the prohibition against riding a water scooter. 

Case no. 288/2007
Judgment 19 November 2010

The Public Prosecutor

T acquitted for contravention of the prohibition against riding a water scooter.

In the District Court and the High Court, T was fined DKK 1,500 for contravention of the Danish Ministerial Order on Water Scooters for having ridden a water scooter off the coast at Løverodde in Kolding in August 2004.

According to the Ministerial Order, riding water scooters in the territorial waters is prohibited. However, the local authorities may grant permission for water scootering, with the exception of in special protection areas.

T had stated that the prohibition in the Ministerial Order is a trade barrier in contravention of Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and that the prohibition is too restrictive to be justified by legitimate aims.

The Public Prosecutor had not contested the fact that the Ministerial Order represents a trade barrier, but had stated that the Danish regime is justified by environmental considerations in particular.

The Supreme Court declared that based on the Court of Justice's judgment in a case regarding the Swedish rules on water scooters, the Danish regime must be regarded as a measure that goes beyond what is necessary to attain the interests pleaded relating to the safety of people and the environment. Consequently, the Danish regulation of water scootering must be regarded as being in contravention of Article 34 TFEU, cf. Article 36.

Against this background, T was acquitted.

The Supreme Court thus reversed the ruling of the High Court. 

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