Mr Torralbo Marcos and his former employer, Korota, agreed to a conciliation settlement relating to his dismissal. In the framework of this settlement, Korota acknowledged that Mr. Torralbo Marcos had been unfairly dismissed and agreed to pay compensation. As Korota had failed to meet these obligations, Mr Torralbo Marcos applied to a Spanish court for enforcement of the settlement. The referring court ordered the enforcement of the conciliation settlement against Korota. On the same day, however, it stayed the enforcement proceedings on the ground that Korota was insolvent and no assets belonging to it had been seized before the insolvency procedure.
During the following appeals proceedings, Mr Torralbo Marcos was requested to produce a certificate to prove payment of judicial fees required under Law 10/2012. The fees were to be paid in relation to an appeal to obtain a legal declaration of the insolvency of his employer in order to access the competent guarantee institution (Fogasa) in accordance with Directive 2008/94.
Mr. Torralbo Marcos lodged an appeal (recurso de reposición) against that decision, arguing that he was not liable to pay the judicial fees because (1)in accordance with national law, he should be granted legal aid in his capacity as a worker and beneficiary of the social security scheme; and (2) Law 10/2012 was incompatible with Article 47 of the Charter in that it constitutes a disproportionate obstacle, contrary to the fundamental right to an effective remedy guaranteed by that article.
The referring Court asked whether national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, is consistent with Article 47 of the Charter to where it requires employees to pay a judicial fee for lodging an appeal in enforcement proceedings with a view to obtaining a legal declaration of the insolvency of the employer in order to allow access to the competent guarantee institution, in accordance with EU Directive 2008/94.
First, the CJEU had to decide whether the legal situation, which gave rise to the main proceedings falls within the scope of European Union law. The Court found that: