Case C-295/12 P Telefónica SA Telefónica de España SAU v European Commission

114. Furthermore, under Article 49(3) of the Charter, relating to the principle that penalties must be clearly defined by law and the principle that the penalty must be proportionate to the offence, the EU judicature is required to guarantee the effectiveness of the principle that ‘[t]he severity of penalties must not be disproportionate to the criminal offence’.

115. In addition, the ECtHR has also held that review of an administrative penalty means that a court should verify and examine in detail the suitability of a penalty in relation to the offence committed, by taking the relevant parameters into account, including the proportionality of the penalty itself, and that it should where necessary replace the latter (see Menarini, paragraphs 64 to 66).

116. Likewise, in EU law, the principle of proportionality, which is one of the general principles of EU law (and enshrined in the Charter), requires that measures adopted by EU institutions should not exceed the limits of what is appropriate and necessary in order to attain the legitimate objectives pursued by the legislation in question, and, where there is a choice between several appropriate measures, recourse must be had to the least onerous, and the disadvantages caused must not be disproportionate to the aims pursued. (54)

119. Furthermore, the principle of non-discrimination requires ‘that comparable situations must not be treated differently and different situations must not be treated in the same way unless such treatment is objectively justified’. (56)

  • Proportionality of sentencing

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