C-120/86 Mulder [1988]

C-120/86 Mulder v Minister van Landbouw en Visserij [1988] ECR 2321 is an important EU law case establishing that legal certainty and the protection of legitimate expectations are the general principles of EU law.

Mulder, a farmer, entered into an agreement not to produce milk for a specified period in exchange for a premium under Regulation No 1078/77. However, upon completing the agreed-upon period and applying for a milk quota under Regulation No 857/84, Mulder faced a setback. Due to his non-production during the reference year for quota determination, he was denied a quota, preventing him from resuming the marketing of his milk as per Regulation No 857/84.

The court ruled that Regulation No 857/84 is invalid to the extent that it infringes on the legitimate expectations of individuals who had made undertakings under Regulation No 1078/77. This decision underscores the significance of legal certainty and the protection of legitimate expectations as fundamental principles of EU law.

The judgment emphasised that producers, such as Mulder, who were encouraged by a Community measure to suspend marketing for a limited period in the general interest and in exchange for a premium, could legitimately expect not to face restrictions upon the expiration of their undertaking. The court recognised the importance of protecting the legitimate expectations of individuals who had acted in accordance with Community provisions, preventing them from being subjected to specific restrictions after fulfilling their obligations under the encouragement of the Community measure.

This landmark case highlights the court's commitment to upholding legal certainty and safeguarding legitimate expectations as core principles of EU law. It reinforces the idea that individuals who act in accordance with Community measures should be able to rely on the commitments made and should not face unforeseen restrictions or consequences contrary to the expectations created by the relevant regulations.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham
ESSEC Business School

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.