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Framework Agreement: Switzerland and the EU break off negotiations

Swiss President Guy Parmelin announced on 26 May 2021 the end of negotiations with the European Union. This followed a summit in Brussels on 23 May 2021, where Parmelin and the President of the European Commission, Ms Von der Leyen, met. None of the discussions were able to bring satisfactory results to the points of disagreement.

At present, there are five bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union, notably concerning the free movement of persons, land and air transport, and agriculture.

The framework agreement between Switzerland and the European Union, which has been discussed since 2002, is the solution for keeping the bilateral path up to date and harmoniously applied. Discussions had been underway since 2014 on a potential institutional agreement bringing the Swiss and European legal frameworks closer together. This would have made it possible to homogenise the regulations concerning Switzerland's participation in the European single market, but also concerning questions of salaries or the free movement of persons.

This text also provided for a dispute settlement procedure in the event of disagreement between Switzerland and the EU. Today, if a problem arises between the two parties, no external entity can intervene to move the negotiations forward.

Switzerland has been cautious because such a framework agreement with the EU would undoubtedly have led to legal changes through the adoption of EU law. However, it was mainly due to profound disagreements that it was not able to sign the agreement, as the EU and Switzerland do not have the same interpretation of the free movement of persons, which is more liberal for the EU. With this text, Switzerland should have transposed the directive on citizenship of the European Union. If so, Europeans settling in Switzerland would have had easier access to the Swiss social system than they do today.

In these negotiations, Switzerland also wanted to protect its wages through the accompanying measures. Today, if a European company wants to send a posted worker to Switzerland, it has to notify the administration eight days in advance. With the framework agreement, this period would be reduced to four days. Switzerland considers that this period is too short to allow time for labour inspectors to check that there is no wage dumping. This change could have led to a weakening of the level of protection for workers in Switzerland.

One of the repercussions of the end of these negotiations concerns the medical technology industry. Having lost its free access to the EU internal market and as a result of the new EU regulation on medical devices, this branch of Swiss industry is now a third country.

This means that stricter requirements for the export of medical devices by Swiss companies will be introduced. As a third country, the administrative burden on companies is greater and they have to incur additional costs or appoint representatives in each member state. The lack of access to the European market makes exporting more costly and procedural.

Other sectors would be affected, such as agriculture, food safety and electricity trading.

The abandonment of this draft agreement risks damaging relations between Switzerland and the EU, as the EU had made any other bilateral market access agreement conditional on the signing of this framework agreement. The latter was intended to govern aspects of the single market in Switzerland, which from a trade perspective is necessary. As the European Union is Switzerland's main economic partner, import and export relations with Switzerland, if not facilitated, risk being weakened in the long term.

The entire team of European Legal Consultancy is at your disposal for any questions or requests for assistance on this subject.

 

Get Ready for Brexit A GJN PUBLIC DEBATE on 24 June 2021 - 5pm

Global Justice Network (GJN) is organizing a debate on the practical implications of Brexit and the current state of the law on June 24, 2021. This debate will be presented by: Professor Duncan Fairgrieve, Senior Fellow in Comparative Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and Professor of Comparative Law, Université Paris Dauphine PSL as well as Professor Gilles Cuniberti from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg.

The moderator of this debate will be Carlos Villacorta of BCV Lex (Madrid, Bordeaux), member of the GJIN committee.

Two positions will be defended during this debate: a pro-Brexit side on one side and a counter-Brexit side on the other.

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has economic, commercial, and of course legal consequences. Indeed, long negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union were necessary to reach a withdrawal agreement, to get out of all European regulations but also to find new agreements with this recent third country to the European Union

A member state of the European Union can withdraw from the Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The United Kingdom is the first country to activate this article, through a notification to the European Council on March 29, 2017. The date of the Brexit was postponed due to the difficulty of the negotiations, until the Brexit was finally realized on January 31, 2020, leading then to a transition period for the next eleven months: until January 1, 2021.

The negotiations and new agreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union (and its member states) are mostly resolved, yet changes are to come as the Brexit inevitably impacts the legal sector.

 This is an open invitation to participate on this debate

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THE APPLICABLE LAW TO MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY REGIMES UNDER REGULATION (EU) 2016/1103

ELC was interested in the European Regulation 2016/1103 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters. This study allowed us to be prepared to answer your questions on the subject to provide you with a quality service.

This regulation, adopted on June 24, 2016, is the result of many years of discussions. It applies to the area of matrimonial property regimes of couples with foreign elements and this, following the mechanism of enhanced cooperation. As a result, the applicability of the Regulation will be limited to those Member States which have expressly so wished.

The Regulation establishes harmonized connecting factors for determining the applicable law to the matrimonial property regime and the competent court. The Regulation also simplifies the recognition and enforcement of judgments and the acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments relating to matrimonial property regimes.

In this article, we will deal only with the part of the Regulation concerning the applicable law to the matrimonial property regime.

1.       The scope of application

The Regulation applies to matrimonial property regimes with a foreign element.

The spouses concerned

For spouses of the same nationality:

     With habitual residences in different States at the time of the celebration of the marriage or the drafting of the agreement organizing or modifying their regime, or

 

    With the property of either spouse in a State different from that of nationality or residence, or

    Having celebrated their marriage in a State different from that of their nationality or residence.

Spouses of different nationalities, regardless of their place of habitual residence, the situation of their property, or the celebration of the marriage.

Enhanced cooperation (art. 70)

The Regulation is only applicable in the Member States participating in enhanced cooperation. The non-participating Member States are to be considered as third States in the application of the Regulation.

Exclusions (provided for in Article 1)

Excluded from the scope of application are fiscal, customs, or administrative matters, the legal capacity of spouses, the existence, validity, or recognition of a marriage, maintenance obligations, succession, jurisdiction, and applicable law in matters of divorce, legal separation, or marriage annulment, social security, the right to transfer or adapt between spouses, the nature of rights in rem, etc.

Application in time (art. 69, 70)

The regulation entered into force on July 28, 2016.

2.       Applicable law in the absence of a choice by the spouses (art. 26)

If no law is designated, a hierarchy of connecting factors is used to determine the applicable law:

  1. The first common habitual residence of the spouses after the celebration of the marriage.
  2. Failing that, the common nationality at the time of the marriage. This criterion cannot be used when the spouses have several common nationalities.
  3. Failing that, the law of the State with which the spouses have the closest connection at the time of the celebration of the marriage.

Exceptionally, the competent judicial authority may decide that the law of a State other than that of the first common habitual residence after the celebration of the marriage shall apply, provided that the following circumstances are met:

      That one of the spouses so requests;

      That the spouses had their last common habitual residence in that other State for a period significantly longer than their first common habitual residence;

      That both spouses have relied on the law of that other State to organize or plan their property relations;

      That the spouses did not conclude an agreement before the date of their last common habitual residence in that other State.

3.       Choice of law

The Regulation offers the possibility of choosing the law of one of the States of which at least one of the spouses has the nationality or the law of his or her habitual residence at the time of the choice (art. 22). This choice of law applicable to the matrimonial regime may be express or implicit.

For the choice to be valid, it must meet certain conditions, in particular

      Formal conditions: the choice agreement must be in writing, dated, and signed by both spouses. Certain conditions are added for particular cases (art. 23), for example in case of residence in different Member States.

      Material conditions: the existence and validity of the substance of the agreement are subject to the law chosen by the spouses as applicable to the matrimonial property regime (art. 24)

4.       Characteristics of the applicable law

The Regulation distinguishes various principles concerning the applicable law to the matrimonial property regimes of couples with foreign elements.

First of all, the principle of universality of the applicable law according to Art. 20 provides that the designated law applies even if that law is not that of a Member State.

Second, there is the principle of unity of applicable law. This principle provides that the law will be applied to all of the couple's assets, regardless of their location (art. 21) or their nature.

There is also the principle of immutability of the applicable law. It is defined by the fact that the matrimonial regime is fixed by the applicable law from the initial moment of the celebration of the marriage and is not modified thereafter.

Finally, as provided for in art. 27 of the present regulation, the applicable law to the matrimonial property regime governs different areas: this is the scope of the applicable law.

One should not forget the exceptions to the applicable law, such as public policy (art. 31) and mandatory law (art. 30).

THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN TO BUILD A POST-COVID-19 EUROPE

"We have reached an agreement on the recovery plan and the European budget [...] This agreement sends a concrete signal that the EU is a driving force. "These were the words of Charles Michel, President of the European Council, following the summit of July 17-21st of 2020, during which the leaders of the European Union negotiated the amount of the budget for the period 2021-2027.

 This budget represents a total of €1.8 trillion to help member states address the economic consequences caused by the pandemic through a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe. To support this, NextGenerationEU, as a temporary instrument, was created to stimulate recovery to address the unprecedented nature of the situation.

Foremost, NextGenerationEU introduces a new funding model for the EU. Its long-term budget will retain the standard structure of customs duties on imports from third countries, on levy on part of the VAT, and contributions based on gross national income.

The novelty lies in the origin of the loans allocated to member states. They will be made possible by "borrowing resources", which means that the European Union will borrow on the capital market.  Secondly, the recovery plan intends to set up new resources focused on ecological priorities. For example, a levy on non-recycled plastics or a tax on the activities of large companies are examples of contributions that could be used to pay for the recovery plan.

Member States had never before agreed to take on such a large amount of debt in the name of common solidarity[1].  Despite this, this commitment speaks volumes about the willingness of the states to preserve the European project. 750 billion annual budgets for 2021 was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on March 17th, 2021.

So far, 16 member states have ratified the fund for the current year. However, on March 26th, 2021, the ratification process was suspended in Germany. The German Constitutional Court issued an interim injunction suspending the ratification process. The reason is that Germany has always been reluctant to share the burden of debt with other states.

In fact, this interruption risks to further slow down the implementation of these 750 billion funds, at a time when the pandemic is still affecting Europe and with severe impacts on entire sectors of the economy.


[1] Article 122 of the TFEU

CROSS BORDER TAX PLANNING: GREEK TAX INCENTIVES

 In recent years, Greece has been dynamically trying to become an attraction for foreigners, competing with other European countries such as Malta, Cyprus, and Portugal, which are organized in similar incentive practices.

The "Golden Visa" plan in combination with the residence permit in Greece (and consequently with free movement throughout the Schengen area) that accompanied it, had paid off, especially during 2019. Foreigners Investors who wanted to acquire it could do so either by investing in real estate in our country, but also in bond shares and mutual funds. However, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have slowed its rise and the relative numbers have dropped significantly.

As a result, new tax incentives were designed targeting both the repatriation of young Greek immigrants (many of them being highly specialized or dispose of qualified scientific training) in order to achieve a reversal of the "brain drain" of the last decade but also aiming at Greece to attract citizens from third countries ready to settle and work or even invest in Greece.

For individuals who decide to relocate in Greece as self-employed or as employees, to another professional employment, a reduction of 50% of their income tax is introduced in Greece for the next 7 years after their establishment, under certain conditions.

At the same time, pensioners (foreigners or of Greek origin) are encouraged to choose to settle in Greece, where their tax obligations are limited to an annual income tax of only 7% of the income from their pensions they earn abroad as long as they now live in our country.

This creates a multifaceted framework of tax incentives which can be of particular interest with proper planning both for the repatriation of Greeks and for the settlement of other active or retired individuals.

Our Law firm through its network in Switzerland is quite familiar with the double taxation avoidance conventions and with the EU directives/regulations as well as the OECD recommendations to the extent that they are included in the national tax regulations. We follow with particular interest the developments in the Greek tax legislation in relation to abroad in order to be informed and able to provide quality services in the cross-border tax planning of our clients.

The class actions efficiency against the Depakine's liabilities in Switzerland

The Depakine (also known as Depakote) is a medicine used in case of epilepsy or as a preventive treatment from child fever convulsions. But, if the Depakine is used during pregnancy, it could cause defects and brain troubles to a born child.

On November, 12th 2020, a family who decided to intent an action against Sanofi (the French pharmaceutical company), appeared for the first time before the Geneve Court. This family claimed that the French company is liable for the lack of information regarding the medicine. In this particular case, Sanofi recognizes its liability but claim as a defense that the action is time-barred. Nevertheless, this case follows many more cases as it is established that around forty Swiss children have been victims of this lack of information from the medical system.

This case remains the first one in Switzerland but it appears that another justice State had to rule a similar case. As a matter of fact, on July, 2nd 2020 the French Administrative Court of Montreuil ruled that the French State Sanofi and the doctors who gave Depakine as prescription to pregnant women, were liable for the children defects. The French State was condemned to compensate the three families that intent the action.

It is thanks to a class action that the French Court of Montreuil recognized that the State « was responsible of not fulfilling its obligation to control and not taking the necessary means to do so. »

The French State had to pay each family 200 000 euros, 157 000 euros and 20 000 euros, according to the birth year of the five children that were concerned and are now between 11 and 35 years old.

Yet, this medical issue is still keeping busy the French justice. In fact, on November, 9th 2020, the National Medicine and Health Product Security Association (ANSM) was indicted for « injuries and unintended manslaughter. » These charges are the result of an investigation that started in 2016 and was handled by the Judicial Court of Paris on behalf of the Association for the welfare of the children’s parents suffering from the Depakine syndrome (APESAC). An ongoing class action will be heard on March 2021 in order to compensate more than fifty gathered families that are victims to this issue.

It would be no surprise that the Swiss justice as well as the French justice will ruling in favor of the victims. In fact, it seems that the judicial power is willing to condemn a significant number of medical professionals that failed to inform properly the victims about this medicine. This tendency to rule in favor of the families appears since the European Commission finale decision from June, 7th 2018 that forbids the prescription of valproate (which is a component of Depakine) to all women who are able to become pregnant or, moreover, who are pregnant. Thanks to this class action, many families can gather and sue a person or a company in order to obtain a financial compensation. The reunion of these harmed families ensures to be heard in a Court and therefore, maximize their chances to have justice.

 The class action is a legal mean that is as specific as efficient. If you consider yourself as a victim of this medical issue or would like to join a class action before the Swiss Courts, our firm would be pleased to be of assistance in  your case or answer any questions you might have in connection to your possible entitlements.  

 

Is Brexit an opportunity for Greece within the EU?

            Since January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the European Union (EU). Nevertheless, until the end of December, the British as well as the European Union’s States remains subjected to the European Union law. Since the official withdrawal of the UK in January, the EU had strong hopes that the transition period would lead to the conclusion of a free-trade agreement. But, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, maintained his strong position of a « no deal Brexit » that implies no agreement between the two parties. The global pandemic acted like a real freezing of the negotiations. Every EU States thought it would have helped to conclude even a small agreement. In fact, the British Parliament decided, in July 2020, to extend the application of the EU law until July 2021 for customs matters. Nevertheless, this forward step was only a small exception. Indeed, since the beginning of the negotiations until today, the two parties did not find an agreement to conclude together. Furthermore, we are ready to face a « no deal Brexit » at the end of the year.

            But what consequences for Greece ?

            Greece is indeed part of the European Union, nevertheless, thanks to strong and ancient economic relations, the United Kingdom and greek citizens always had the privilege to obtain specialized laws adapted to each country. Brexit does not seem to change this long term relationship. In fact, before the official withdrawal of United Kingdom from the EU, the Greek government passed the 4652/2020 law that aims the relations between the two countries during the transition period. The purpose of this law (PDF version in Greek : https://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/c8827c35-4399-4fbb-8ea6-aebdc768f4f7/11167727.pdf) is to protect British residents’ status and rights in Greece, as the upcoming residents. The purpose of this law was to evict the uncertainties concerning what is, will be or won’t be enforced until the official withdrawal of the United Kingdom in December, 31 2020. This law concerns, among others, the social rights (employment, insurance…) of British residents that won’t be anymore subjected to EU law in a « no deal » scenario.

            However, this law is enforced only during the transition period. Thus, from December, 31 2020, the United Kingdom becomes a third State to the European Union and, in extension, to Greece. The British companies as well as the greek ones are getting ready for an important customs change due to a non-agreement of free-trade. The freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and Greece will be substituted to customs procedures.

            Nevertheless, the non-conclusion of a free-trade agreement is not an obstacle to the  common business exchanges between the two States. In fact, some British companies found a new strategy by acquiring the Greek or Cypriot nationality. As a consequence, these companies are insured to benefit the EU law and more specifically, the free-trade principle. This solution, available for major companies, is also extended to nationalities from Portugal, Austria or even Malta. Herewith, compared to the official negotiators of Brexit, it seems that the practice and its actors succeed to adapt themselves to the future 2021 post-Brexit.

Stay at home orders for public health(Covid 19) are protected by the U.S. Constitution

By Erwin Chemerinsky: Dean and professor of law at the UC Berkeley Law School

The law is clear: the government has broad power in a public health emergency to take the steps needed to stop the spread of a communicable disease. In 1905, the Supreme Court declared: “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”Some conservative voices are now questioning the legality of stay-at-home orders. One conservative commentator called stay-at-home orders “totalitarian” and cast doubt on their constitutionality. These claims have no basis in law.

There is absolutely no right to put the health of others in danger and to act in a way that risks the collapse of our health care system. The government can, if it chooses, impose criminal penalties on those who willfully disobey orders designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

This is not a new principle. A few years after the end of the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was isolated to control the spread of yellow fever. By the time the Constitution was drafted and approved, quarantine was already a well-established form of public health regulation. States, as part of their police power, were deemed to have the authority to order quarantines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. In 1926, the Supreme Court wrote: “it is well settled that a state, in the exercise of its police power, may establish quarantines against human beings, or animals, or plants.”

In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, in 1905, the court upheld laws requiring compulsory vaccination against smallpox. A challenge was brought to this law on the ground that it interfered with the liberty of people to choose to not be vaccinated and to decide how to protect their own health. The court emphatically rejected this argument and stated: “But the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.”

Every challenge to a compulsory vaccination law, even without exceptions for religious beliefs, has been rejected with courts always upholding the government’s power to protect public health. A person’s liberty does not include the right to injure or endanger others. It long has been recognized that my ability to swing my fist stops at another person’s nose.

Thus, there is no doubt that a state has the authority to impose the restrictions necessary to limit the spread of a communicable disease. State laws give governors and city officials broad authority to deal with public health emergencies.

If the government can quarantine individuals and prevent them from leaving their homes, then it also has the power to do something less restrictive, such as shelter in place requirements. Likewise, the law is clear that the government can close businesses when necessary for the sake of public health. The orders for restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses are thus unquestionably constitutional. I hope that arrests and criminal prosecutions are not needed to enforce these restrictions, but the government has that power if needed.

These enormous powers do restrict freedoms and therefore are not to be lightly undertaken. Courts would step in if the government used this authority when it was not needed or in an unreasonable manner. But under the current circumstances with the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, courts certainly would back up the government’s authority to protect society from “an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

I am discouraged to hear conservatives questioning the government’s authority to take the measures necessary to protect public health. They are not only wrong as a matter of law, but those who advocate disobeying restrictions may be contributing to the spread of disease, deaths and the overburdening of the health care system. I would hope in our deeply politically polarized times that all of us, regardless of ideology, can come together for protecting the health of all of us and deal with the pandemic.

Also appeared at Fresnobee.com. Published with permission granted to us by author Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky Dean and Professor of Law at U.C. Berkeley Law school  in California.

Inheritance law and estate planning in Greece and abroad

    Sharing your wealth to your family members or other persons is always a complex issue. Even those who inherit it, with or without a will, are not spared.

    The inheritance tax varies between 0 and 50% and depends on the degree of kinship, but also on whether it is real estate, securities, bank deposits or valuables. It also plays a role if the assets are registered in the country of residence, in the EU or in another state, but also the nationality of the heirs, etc. Special rules apply in particular to life insurance policies, joint-stock companies, etc.

Due to the particularly important tax and legal consequences, it is essential that specialized lawyers intervene scrupulously and cautiously.

    A mere transfer of ownership of a property or an ordinary joint bank account may be a solution in simple cases only. When things are getting complicated, a different stance is required. For example, in the near future, there will be, in Greece also, a wealth and assets record, like it is already in place in most countries and which will require a detailed registration of all assets. A transparent and legally compliant solution must be applied. That is why since 2017 already, the tax authorities of most countries of the world, every EU country, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the United States and elsewhere, have introduced the automatic exchange of information (AEI) on moveable assets.

    Deposits (including investments, fund shares, etc.) in joint bank accounts in Greece are in practice exempt from inheritance tax, and in the event of the holder’s death, those assets are automatically credited to the co-owners. In theory, this does not apply to common bank accounts held abroad by Greek citizens, but in practice, no problems have arisen in this regard. It would also be contrary to European law (since the latter prevails over Greek law), which assures the free movement of capital.

    However, one must be careful, since, in some countries, e.g. Switzerland, there are no joint accounts, but only situations where third parties are operating through a simple authorization by the proxy. Therefore, in the event of the death of the account owner, his bank account is being blocked and the funds may only be transferred to the co-owners by inheritance (will or legal succession) after the establishment and the filing of an inheritance certificate or any other relevant document.

    Greek law has special provisions applicable to the taxation of inheritance of movable assets, located in Greece. However, when these assets are located abroad, things are more complicated and there is a distinction between residents and non-residents: For legal heirs residing in Greece (Greeks or foreigners), the inheritance is normally taxed. The same applies to Greek citizens residing abroad unless they have lived outside of Greece for at least 10 years without interruption. This measure is particularly burdensome for Greeks who owning assets outside of their home country.

    In a future analysis, we will deal with real estate ownership and the special regulations for insurance policies, the transfer of company shares, etc. Our law firm cooperates with specialized tax experts who have extensive experience in Greece and abroad, and we maintain privileged relations with Switzerland and the United States. Thus, our firm can properly assist you in situations where estate planning is essential.

Air Canada fined for violating language rights

    The Canadian Federal Court has ordered Air Canada to pay to two airline passengers, a total amount of $21.000 CAD, for infringing their language rights. 

English and French languages in Canada
    The opposition between those two official languages is a constant issue. Therefore, in 1969, the government adopted the Official Languages Act (hereinafter referred to as “OLA”), which gives French and English equal status and proclaims them as official languages. This law established the Commissioner of Official Languages, which receives complaints from the public, undertakes inquiries, and makes recommendations. 

The linguistic right is a constitutional right, which was additionally recognized by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom (hereinafter referred to as “the Charter”).

What is the complaint about? 
    All in all, twenty-two complaints have been filed by two passengers of Air Canada, at the Commissioner of Official Languages, against the airline. The couple is claiming that the airline company is infringing systematically and recurrently their language rights, even though it is a principle protected by the OLA and the Charter.

Therefore, they request the federal court, to consider Air Canada responsible for the infringement of their linguistic rights. They require additionally a letter of apology and damages. They are also seeking to have the Court issue mandatory orders, which would require Air Canada to use : 

  • signage for emergency exits on airplanes that complies with the language obligations set out in the [OLA]; and
  • a notice on airplane seatbelts that complies with the language obligations set out in the [OLA].”

What are the failures reproached? 

  • In some places, only the word “exit” appears.
  • When the word “sortie” (exit) is written, it is always in smaller characters than the English word, as with the word “avis” (warning).
  • The seatbelts have engraved “lift” in English, with no French-language equivalent.
  • The boarding announcement at Fredericton Airport is shorter in French than in English.

The airline argued the plaintiffs were interpreting the OLA too strictly, and that the law does not require to treat the two languages identically but in a substantially similar way. 

What is the court decision? 
    On the 27th of August 2019, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. It considered the unilingual or predominant English display, as well as the more complete boarding announcement in English, in breach of the Law.

It ordered Air Canada to pay the couple a total amount of $21.000 CAD in damages and to issue a formal apology. 
With regard to the request to issue mandatory orders, it wasn’t however accepted by the Court. The airline company had already made a commitment to comply.

It is not the first infringement of the language rights of this airline company: 105 complaints have been brought to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in 2018 against Air Canada.

The use of English and French language must be equal, in regard to the Law in Canada, as well in other countries. Eurolegal has a sensitive approach to such issues and subsequent experience in multi-language countries and would be willing to be of assistance should any such problem arises. 

https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/420747/index.do