Lawtify Premium: Public.Resource.Org (T-185/19) or the story of how law became private

In Public.Resource.Org, the General Court (‘GC’) was called upon to balance the tension between the copyright claimed by a European standardisation organisation over four harmonised standards; and the request of free access to those standards, made by two NGOs pursuant to the principle of the rule of law. The GC decided to privilege the former. It ruled that harmonised standards are documents authored by private bodies able to license and sell them, even considering that their content constitutes part of EU secondary law. After presenting the decision, this case note will examine how the GC balanced the aforementioned tension between the private and public law dimensions of harmonised standards. We posit that the GC should have considered the constitutional role and public regulatory functions that harmonised standards fulfil, particularly, considering the climate of increased (scholarly and judicial) awareness over the public law dimension of harmonised standards.