Court Of Justice Essay

865 words - 4 pages

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was established in 1952 by the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, and serves as the highest court in the European Union (Communication Department of the European Commission). The courts mission is to guarantee compliance with the law in interpreting and applying the Treaties (Communication Department of the European Commission). As part of its mission, “the court reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the European Union, ensures that the Member States comply with obligations under the Treaties, and interprets European Union law at the request of the national courts and tribunals”(Curia). The CJEU is located in Luxembourg and is made up of three courts: the Court of Justice, the General Court, and the Civil Service Tribunal (Curia).

The Court of Justice has 28 judges; each judge represents one EU country. There are nine advocate generals who assist the judges (Curia). Advocate generals are responsible for, “presenting, with complete impartiality and independence, an opinion in the cases assigned to them” (Curia). Each judge and advocate generals are appointed for six year terms. These terms can be renewed however, it is the governments of the EU countries that choose whom they want to appoint or reappoint (Communication Department of the European Commission). Cases submitted to the court are processed in a written stage and oral stage. Lawyers from both sides present their cases in a public hearing to the judges and advocate general (Curia). The advocate general then questions the attorneys in order to form their own impartial opinion. After this, the judges discuss the case and all of the evidence presented together and then present their judgment (Communication Department of the European Commission). The Court's judgments are majority decisions and are read aloud at public hearings. Five of the most common cases are: preliminary ruling requests, actions taken against countries failing to fulfil their obligations, actions for termination of a law, failure of action, and actions seeking compensation (Communication Department of the European Commission).

The General Court, which was created in 1988, deals with cases presented by private individuals, companies, organizations, and cases relating to competition law (Communication Department of the European Commission). Although the General Court does not have advocate generals, the procedure for hearings in the General Court is similar to the Court of Justice (Curia). The General Court sits in chambers of three or five judges, but in some cases it might consist of a single judge. However, most of the cases presented before the General Court are heard by a chamber of three judges...

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