Association Internationale des Hautes Juridictions Administratives
International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions

European Union Court of Justice

Mr Koen Laenerts
 - President
Court of Justice of the European Union, Rue du Fort Niedergrünewald, Quartier Européen Nord, Kirchberg, Luxembourg, Canton Luxembourg, 2226, Luxembourg
Main Courtroom - Court of Justice of the European Union

1. Composition and structure

Number of members:

15 judges and 8 advocates general

Recruitment procedures and incompatibilities:

The judges and advocates general are appointed by common accord of the governments of the member states for a renewable mandate of six years. They are chosen amongst personalities presenting all garantuees of independence and which either satisfy the criteria required, in their own country, to exercise the highest judicial functions or are lawyers of recognized competence.
The judges and attorneys general are not allowed to exercise any other, political or administrative, function. Except the case of a derogation granted exceptionally by the Council, they may not pursue any professional activity, be it remunerated or not.


Unless stated otherwise, all the following publications are edited in the eleven official languages of the European Communities:
- Report of the case before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance;
- Report of the community case law - staff member;
- Digest of the community case law: serie A (decisions of the Court of Justice) and serie D (decisions of the Court of justice and of the national courts concerning the convention of september 27th 1968 on the jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters) (in German, English, Danish, French, Italian, Dutch);
- Periodical bulletin of case law (French);
- Periodical bulletin of case law concerning staff members (French)
- Weekly bulletin on the activities of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance ;
- Annual report on the activities of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance ;
- Alphabetical index of the cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance (French and English) ;
- Annotations - References to the annotations of the judgments of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance ;
- Legal bibliography on the european integration ;
- Compendium of legal texts on the organization, jurisdiction and proceedings of the Court of Justice ;
- Compendium of the conventions of Brussels and LugaRno (edition in several languages including, besides the official community languages, an Irish, Icelandic and Norwegian translation).

The texts of the decisions of the Court and the conclusions of the advocates general are also collected in the data basis CELEX of the Official Publications Office of the European Communities. The latest decisions are presented on the internet address of the Court.

2. Jurisdictional attributions and advice

Court functions


The Court of Justice's mission is to ensure that the law is respected in the interpretation and application of the treaties establishing the European Communities.

Organization of the courts system:

A Court of First Instance has been joined to the Court of Justice in order to cope with the increasing influx of affairs and to improve the safeguards available to the individuals by creating a second tier of judicial authority.

The Court of First Instance, established in 1989, has jurisdiction to rule all actions for annulment, for failure to act, or for damages brought by physical or legal persons against the Community. The affairs treated by the Court of First Instance concern mainly the community civil service, the competition rules and the trade-marks.

The Court of Justice may be seized of appeals, on points of law only, against the rulings of the Tribunal.

The Court of Justice adjudicates in first and last instance the actions for failure, brought either by the Commission or by another Member State against a Member State, the actions for annulment or for failure introduced by a Member State against a Community institution, or disputes between different Community institutions.
The Court of Justice has exclusive jurisdction to give preliminary rulings on requests from national courts concerning:
a) the interpretation of the treaties;
b) the validity and interpretation of acts issued by the community institutions;
c) the interpretation of statutes of organisms created by the Council, if the statutes provide such a request.

Powers of the judge:

The Court of Justice may establish the failure of a Member State to fulfil an obligation of the treaties. The Court may also penalize the inaction or silence of the European Parliament, the Council or the Commission. If an action for annulment is well founded, the Court declares the impugned act void. The Court of Justice has full jurisdiction concerning the penalties established by the regulations issued by European Parliament and/or European Council. The Court is competent to award a compensation for damages caused by Community institutions. If necessary, the Court can decide to delay the execution of an impugned act and impose provisional emergency measures.

Advisory functions

Existence and extent of an advisory authority:

The Council, the Commission and a Member State may ask the Court for an advice on the compatibility of a convention between the Community and one or several Member States or international organizations, with the provisions of the EC treaty.

Authority and publicity of the advisory opinions:

A convention, on which the Court gave an unfavourable advice, may only come into effect according to the conditions set out in article N of the Treaty on the European Union concerning the amendments to the treaties.
The advices are published in the Reports of the Court's decisions.

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