Court of Justice of the European Communities

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Court of Justice of the European Communities

Court of Justice of the European Communities and the Treaties of the European Union

Description of Court of Justice of the European Communities provided by the European Union Commission: The Court of Justice is composed of the same number of judges as there are Member States. At present it has twenty-five judges assisted by eight advocates-general who are appointed for six years by agreement among the Member States. It may sit in chambers, as a Grand Chamber (thirteen judges) or as a Full Court. The ECJ has two principal functions:

• to check whether instruments of the European institutions and of governments are compatible with the Treaties;

• to give rulings, at the request of a national court, on the interpretation or the validity of provisions contained in Community law.

The Court is assisted by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (CFI), which was set up in 1989. The Treaty of Nice instigated a major reform of the Union's court system. As far as the Court of Justice is concerned, the most important points are the following:

• greater flexibility to adapt the statute of the Court of Justice, which can now be amended by the Council, acting unanimously at the request of the Court or the Commission;

• approval of the Court's Rules of Procedure by the Council is now done by qualified majority;

• a new Article 229a of the EC Treaty enables the Court to be awarded jurisdiction in disputes relating to Community industrial property rights, by unanimous decision by the Council and after ratification by the national parliaments;

• a better division of powers between the CFI and the Court, relieving the latter of some of its workload.

The European Constitution, which is currently being ratified, will introduce a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which will include the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the CFI (which will be called the “General Court”) and specialised courts. The Constitution will also make it easier for citizens and companies to take legal action against Union regulations even if they are not personally affected by them.

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Court of Justice of the European Communities and the Treaties of the European Union

Description of Court of Justice of the European Communities provided by the European Union Commission: The Court of Justice is composed of the same number of judges as there are Member States. At present it has twenty-five judges assisted by eight advocates-general who are appointed for six years by agreement among the Member States. It may sit in chambers, as a Grand Chamber (thirteen judges) or as a Full Court. The ECJ has two principal functions:

• to check whether instruments of the European institutions and of governments are compatible with the Treaties;

• to give rulings, at the request of a national court, on the interpretation or the validity of provisions contained in Community law.

The Court is assisted by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (CFI), which was set up in 1989. The Treaty of Nice instigated a major reform of the Union's court system. As far as the Court of Justice is concerned, the most important points are the following:

• greater flexibility to adapt the statute of the Court of Justice, which can now be amended by the Council, acting unanimously at the request of the Court or the Commission;

• approval of the Court's Rules of Procedure by the Council is now done by qualified majority;

• a new Article 229a of the EC Treaty enables the Court to be awarded jurisdiction in disputes relating to Community industrial property rights, by unanimous decision by the Council and after ratification by the national parliaments;

• a better division of powers between the CFI and the Court, relieving the latter of some of its workload.

The European Constitution, which is currently being ratified, will introduce a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which will include the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the CFI (which will be called the “General Court”) and specialised courts. The Constitution will also make it easier for citizens and companies to take legal action against Union regulations even if they are not personally affected by them.

Resources

See Also

Popular Treaties Topics

  • Treaties of the United Nations (UN)
  • Types of Treaties
  • International Treaties
  • Famous Treaties
  • Law of Treaties
  • Numbered Treaties

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