General Court (European Union)

The General Court, informally known as the European General Court (EGC), is a constituent court of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It hears actions taken against the institutions of the European Union by individuals and member states, although certain matters are reserved for the European Court of Justice. Decisions of the General Court can be appealed to the Court of Justice, but only on a point of law. Prior to the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, it was known as the Court of First Instance.

Court of Justice of the European Union
General Court
Emblem of the Court of Justice of the European Union.svg
Established1989
JurisdictionEuropean Union and the United Kingdom[a]
LocationKirchberg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Authorized byTreaties of the European Union
Appeals toEuropean Court of Justice
Number of positions54 judges (2 per member state)
5 vacant
Websitecuria.europa.eu
President
CurrentlyNetherlands Marc van der Woude
Since27 September 2019
Vice-President
CurrentlyCyprus Savvas Papasavvas
Since27 September 2019
Registrar
CurrentlyEuropean Union Emmanuel Coulon
Since6 October 2005
Division map
Map of the European Union and the UK

CompetenceEdit

The General Court hears disputes (such as those by persons who have been refused a trade mark by EUIPO, the EU Trade Mark and designs registry).

The creation of the General Court instituted a judicial system based on two levels of jurisdiction: all cases heard at first instance by the General Court may be subject to a right of appeal to the Court of Justice on points of law only.

In view of the increasing number of cases brought before the General Court in the last five years, to relieve it of some of the caseload, the Treaty of Nice, which entered into force on 1 February 2003, provides for the creation of 'judicial panels' in certain specific areas.

On 2 November 2004 the Council adopted a decision establishing the European Union Civil Service Tribunal. This new specialised tribunal, composed of seven judges, heard and determined at first instance disputes involving the European Civil Service. Its decisions were subject to a right of appeal before the General Court on points of law only. Decisions given by the General Court in this area might exceptionally be subject to review by the Court of Justice. The European Union Civil Service Tribunal was duly constituted into law on 2 December 2005. Despite the success in its mandate,[2] it was dissolved on 1 September 2016,[3] leading to the doubling of the number of judges at the General Court.[3]

CompositionEdit

Since February 2020 the General Court is composed of 54 Judges; this follows a 2016 reform which increased the number of judges to two per member state by 2019, and the departure of the UK from the EU at the end of January 2020. The Judges are appointed for a renewable term of six years by common accord of the governments of the Member States. As of February 2020, there are 49 Judges in post: 23 member states have nominated both their judges, whilst Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia have nominated just one, and Slovenia has nominated neither.

The members of the General Court elect their president and the presidents of the Chambers of five Judges from among their number for a renewable period of three years.

There are no permanent Advocates General attached to the General Court (unlike the European Court of Justice, which has eleven Advocates General). However, the task of an Advocate General may be performed in a limited number of cases by a Judge nominated to do so. In practice this has been done occasionally.

List of PresidentsEdit

Elected Term ended Judge
25 September 1989 18 September 1995   José Luís da Cruz Vilaça
18 September 1995 4 March 1998   Antonio Saggio
4 March 1998 17 September 2007   Bo Vesterdorf
17 September 2007 26 September 2019   Marc Jaeger
27 September 2019 Incumbent   Marc van der Woude

List of Vice-PresidentsEdit

Elected Term ended Judge
17 September 2013 19 September 2016   Heikki Kanninen
20 September 2016 26 September 2019   Marc van der Woude
27 September 2019 Incumbent   Savvas Papasavvas

List of JudgesEdit

Name Country Elected Current Term Ends Other
Viktor Kreuschitz   Austria 2013 2022
Gerhard Hesse   Austria 2019 2022
Paul Nihoul   Belgium 2016 2022
Geert De Baere   Belgium 2017 2022
Mariyana Kancheva   Bulgaria 2011 2025[4]
Alexander Kornezov   Bulgaria 2016 2025[4] President of the Tenth Chamber
Vesna Tomljenović   Croatia 2013 2025[5] President of the Second Chamber
Tamara Perišin   Croatia 2019 2025[5]
Savvas Papasavvas   Cyprus 2004 2022 Vice-President of the General Court (2019-2022)
Anna Marcoulli   Cyprus 2016 2022 President of the Sixth Chamber
Petra Škvařilová-Pelzl   Czech Republic 2019 2025
Jan M. Passer   Czech Republic 2016 2025[5]
Sten Frimodt Nielsen   Denmark 2007 2022
Jesper Svenningsen   Denmark 2016 2022 President of the Eighth Chamber
Lauri Madise   Estonia 2013 2022
Iko Nõmm   Estonia 2019[5] 2022[5]
Heikki Kanninen   Finland 2009 2022 President of the First Chamber
Vice-President of the General Court (2013-2016)
Tuula Pynnä   Finland 2019[5] 2022[5]
Stéphane Gervasoni   France 2013 2025[4] President of the Fourth Chamber
Laurent Truchot   France 2019[4] 2025[4] Judge (2007-2013)
Johannes Laitenberger   Germany 2019 2025
Gabriele Steinfatt   Germany 2019 2025[5]
Dimitris Gratsias   Greece 2010 2022
Constantinos Iliopoulos   Greece 2016 2022
Barna Berke   Hungary 2016 2022
Zoltán Csehi   Hungary 2016 2022
Anthony Michael Collins   Ireland 2013 2025[5] President of the Third Chamber
Colm Mac Eochaidh   Ireland 2017 2025[5]
Roberto Mastroianni   Italy 2019 2025
Ornella Porchia   Italy 2019 2025
Ingrida Labucka   Latvia 2004 2019*
Inga Reine   Latvia 2016 2025[4]
Rimvydas Norkus   Lithuania 2019 2025
Virgilijus Valančius   Lithuania 2016 2019*
Marc Jaeger   Luxembourg 1996 2022 President of the General Court (2007-2019)
Dean Spielmann   Luxembourg 2016 2022 President of the Fifth Chamber
Eugène Buttigieg   Malta 2012 2025
Ramona Frendo   Malta 2019 2025
Marc van der Woude   Netherlands 2010 2022 President of the General Court (2019-2022)
Vice-President of the General Court (2016-2019)
René Barents   Netherlands 2016 2022
Krystyna Kowalik-Bańczyk   Poland 2016 2022
Nina Półtorak   Poland 2016 2016*
Octavia Spineanu-Matei   Romania 2016 2022
Mirela Stancu   Romania 2019[4] 2022[4]
Ricardo Da Silva Passos   Portugal 2016 2022 President of the Seventh Chamber
Maria José Costeira   Portugal 2016 2022 President of the Ninth Chamber
Juraj Schwarcz   Slovakia 2009 2022
TBA   Slovakia
TBA   Slovenia
TBA   Slovenia
José Martín y Pérez de Nanclares   Spain 2019 2025
Miguel Sampol Pucurull   Spain 2019 2025
Ulf Christophe Öberg   Sweden 2016 2025[4]
Fredrik Schalin   Sweden 2016 2025[4]

* Judge continues to hold the office until their successor takes up the duties according to the Article 5(3) of the Protocol No. 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the EU

List of Former JudgesEdit

Name Country Elected Term Ended Ref.
Josef Azizi   Austria 19 January 1995 16 September 2013 [6]
Koen Lenaerts   Belgium 25 September 1989 6 October 2003 [7]
Franklin Dehousse   Belgium 6 October 2003 19 september 2016 [7]
Teodor Tchipev   Bulgaria 12 January 2007 29 June 2010 [8]
Irena Pelikánová   Czech Republic 12 May 2004 26 September 2019 [7]
Bo Versterdorf   Denmark 25 September 1989 17 September 2007 [7]
Küllike Jürimäe   Estonia 12 May 2004 23 october 2013 [7]
Virpi Tiili   Finland 8 January 1995 6 October 2009 [7]
Jacques Biancarelli   France 25 September 1989 18 September 1995 [7]
André Potocki   France 18 September 1995 19 September 2001 [7]
Hubert Legal   France 19 September 2001 17 September 2007 [7]
Heinrich Kirschner   Germany 25 September 1989 6 February 1997 [7]
Jörg Pirrung   Germany 11 June 1997 17 September 2007 [7]
Alfred Dittrich   Germany 17 September 2007 26 September 2019 [7]
Christos G. Yeraris   Greece 25 September 1989 18 September 1992 [7]
Andreas Kalogerpoulos   Greece 18 September 1992 17 September 1998 [7]
Michail Vilaras   Greece 17 September 1998 25 October 2010 [7]
Ottó Czúcz   Hungary 12 May 2004 19 September 2016 [7]
Donal Patrick Michael Barrington   Ireland 25 September 1989 10 January 1996 [7]
John D. Cooke   Ireland 10 January 1996 15 September 2008 [7]
Kevin O'Higgins   Ireland 15 September 2008 16 September 2013 [7]
Antonio Saggio   Italy 25 September 1989 4 March 1998 [7]
Paolo Mengozzi   Italy 4 March 1998 3 May 2006 [7]
Enzo Moavero Milanesi   Italy 3 May 2006 15 November 2011 [7]
Guido Berardis   Italy 17 September 2012 31 August 2019 [7]
Ezio Perillo   Italy 19 September 2016 26 September 2019 [7]
Vilenas Vadapalas   Lithuania 12 May 2004 16 September 2013 [7]
Egidijus Bieliūnas   Lithuania 16 September 2013 26 September 2019 [7]
Romain Schintgen   Luxembourg 25 september 1989 11 July 1996 [7]
Ena Cremona   Malta 12 May 2004 22 March 2012 [8]
Peter George Xuereb   Malta 6 June 2016 8 October 2018 [7]
Cornelis Paulus Briët   Netherlands 25 September 1989 17 September 1998 [7]
Arjen Meij   Netherlands 17 September 1998 13 September 2010 [8]
Irena Wiszniewska-Bialecka   Poland 15 may 2004 19 September 2016 [6]
Nina Półtorak   Poland 13 April 2016 31 August 2016 [6]
José Luis Da Cruz Vilaça   Portugal 25 September 1989 18 September 1995 [6]
Rui Manuel Gens De Moura Ramos   Portugal 19 September 1995 31 March 2003 [6]
Maria Eguénia Martins De Nazaré Ribeiro   Portugal 31 March 2003 19 september 2016 [6]
Valeriu M. Ciuca   Romania 12 January 2007 26 November 2010 [8]
Andrei Popescu   Romania 26 November 2010 19 September 2016 [6]
Daniel Šváby   Slovakia 21 May 2004 6 October 2010 [8]
Verica Trstenjak   Slovenia 7 July 2004 6 October 2006 [6]
Miro Prek   Slovenia 6 October 2006 26 September 2019 [6]
Rafael Garcia-Valdecasas Y Fernández   Spain 25 September 1989 17 September 2007 [7]
Santiago Soldevila Fragoso   Spain 17 September 2007 16 September 2013 [7]
Ignacio Ulloa Rubio   Spain 16 September 2013 26 September 2019 [7]
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo Ibáñez-Martín   Spain 13 April 2016 26 September 2019 [7]
Pernilla Lindh   Sweden 18 January 1995 6 October 2006 [6]
Nils Wahl   Sweden 6 October 2006 28 November 2012 [6]
Carl Wetter   Sweden 18 March 2013 19 September 2016 [6]
Former Member State
David A. O. Edward   United Kingdom 25 September 1989 10 March 1992 [6]
Christopher William Bellamy   United Kingdom 10 March 1992 15 december 1999 [6]
Nicholas James Forwood   United Kingdom 15 December 1999 7 October 2015 [6]
Ian Stewart Forrester   United Kingdom 1 October 2015 31 January 2020

List of RegistrarsEdit

Elected Term ended Judge
27 September 1989 6 October 2005    Hans Jung
6 October 2005 Incumbent    Emmanuel Coulon

JurisdictionEdit

The General Court, like the Court of Justice, has the task of ensuring that the law is observed in the interpretation and application of the Treaties of the European Union and the provisions adopted by the competent Union institutions.

To fulfil its main task, the General Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine at first instance all direct actions brought by individuals and the Member States, with the exception of those to be assigned to a 'judicial panel' and those reserved for the Court of Justice.

Categories of direct actionsEdit

  • Actions for annulment

(against acts of the Union institutions)

  • Actions for failure to act

(against inaction by the Union institutions)

  • Actions for damages

(for the reparation of damage caused by unlawful conduct on the part of a Union institution)

  • Actions based on an arbitration clause

(disputes concerning contracts in public or private law entered into by the Union, containing such a clause)

  • Actions concerning the civil service – As of 2006 these cases were transferred to the new Civil Service Tribunal

(disputes between the Union and its officials and other servants)

Subject-matter of direct actions: all matters, including:

  • agriculture
  • State aid
  • competition
  • commercial policy
  • regional policy
  • social policy
  • institutional law
  • trade mark and design right law
  • transport

ProcedureEdit

The General Court has its own Rules of Procedure. As a rule, the Court's procedure includes a written phase and an oral phase. The proceedings are conducted in a language at the petitioner's choosing. As in the European Court of Justice, the working language of the Court is nevertheless French, and this includes the language the judges deliberate in and the drafting language of preliminary reports and judgments.[9]

The Court is separated into 9 divisions (called ‘chambers’) sat by 3-judge benches, except for the 7th division whose bench is sat by 4 judges. Each chamber has an extended composition of 5 judges. Cases are assigned by the President of the Court to a relevant divisional presiding judge. The presiding judge assigned to the case then chooses a judge-reporter (judge-rapporteur) from the judges of the division, whose clerks write a preliminary report (rapport préalable) based on the parties' pleadings and applicable law.

At the close of the written phase and, as the case may be, on adoption of measures of inquiry, the case is argued orally in open court. The proceedings are interpreted simultaneously, if necessary, into various official languages of the European Union. The judges then deliberate based on a draft judgment prepared by the judge-reporter. The Court's final judgment is handed down in open court.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Whilst no longer a member state of the EU, the UK is included in the jurisdiction of the CJEU, and hence the EGC, until the end of the transition period, as per the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Consequences of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union for the Court of Justice of the European Union" (PDF) (Press release). Court of Justice of the European Union. 31 January 2020. No 10/20. Retrieved 3 February 2020. In accordance with the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the Court of Justice is to continue to have jurisdiction in any proceedings brought by or against the UK before the end of the transition period, which is set as 31 December 2020. It is also to continue to have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on requests from courts and tribunals of the UK made before the end of the transition period.
  2. ^ Butler, Graham (2019). "An Interim Post-Mortem: Specialised Courts in the EU Judicial Architecture after the Civil Service Tribunal". International Organizations Law Review. 16. doi:10.1163/15723747-2019010.
  3. ^ a b "REGULATION (EU, Euratom) 2016/1192 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 6 July 2016 on the transfer to the General Court of jurisdiction at first instance in disputes between the European Union and its servants". Official Journal of the European Union. 200/138. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/02/01/court-of-justice-of-the-european-union-eleven-members-appointed/
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/05/29/member-states-representatives-appoint-14-judges-to-the-general-court/
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "CURIA - Mandati od leta 1989 - Sodišče Evropske unije". curia.europa.eu. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag "CURIA – Former Members". CVRIA. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e "CURIA – Former Members". CVRIA. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  9. ^ Mattila, Heikki E. S. (2006). Comparative legal linguistics – Heikki E. S. Mattila – Google Boeken. ISBN 9780754648741. Retrieved 27 January 2012.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 49°37′16″N 6°08′35″E / 49.6210°N 6.1431°E / 49.6210; 6.1431