(CN) – A list of items banned from airplanes must be published if it is to be enforced, Europe’s highest court ruled Tuesday. The European Commission amended its airline regulations in 2004, but the amendment was not published, despite its language emphasizing the need for the public to be informed of the rules.
Gottfried Heinrich was ordered to leave a plane in 2005 after he was discovered to have tennis rackets in his cabin luggage. Airline officials decided that fell into the category of bludgeons, along with “blackjacks, billy clubs, or baseball clubs.”
The Austrian Court referred the matter to the Court of Justice, which ruled that the action taken against Heinrich was illegal and that there was no reason not to publish the regulations.
“The list of prohibited articles does not fall within any of the categories of measures and information which are treated as secret,” the Court ruled, concluding that the amended rules therefore have “no binding force insofar as it seeks to impose obligations on individuals.”