EU Court Asked to Rule on Legality of ACTA

ACTA ProtestsAfter protests across Europe and other parts of the world, signatories to ACTA may be in retreat. After Germany balked, ratification efforts have been suspended in Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Latvia. It seems like everyon’e going to hold off pending an EU court decision on the agreement’s legality. So far, the agreement had been signed by 22 of the EU’s states.

Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade head, told the BBC that the court will have to clarify if ACTA breaks “the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”

In order to become law in Europe, ACTA must be debated by the EU Parliament, which is scheduled to happen in June. Some members say the measure has no chance of passage.

If ACTA looks like it’s primed to fail in Europe—though that’s far from certain—its fate in other parts of the world is unclear. It’s already been signed by the U.S., Japan, Canada and Australia, among others.