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Will litigants suffer because of ineffective changes to the Court of Justice of the European Union?

On Wednesday 6 March, the Lords Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection EU-Sub Committee will question David Lidington, Minister for Europe, on the amendments made to the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Committee conducted an inquiry into the workload of the Court in March 2011, raising concerns about the impact that delays in the Court, and the General Court in particular, were having on litigants. The Committee also considered the pressure that new Member States would bring to the Court's caseload and the effect that the Treaty of Lisbon will have in the number of cases brought before the Court.

The Committee will question Mr Lidington on issues including:

  • whether the caseload of the Court will be reduced, as has been suggested, now that the amendments have come into force;
  • what the Government's view is on the President of the Court of Justice's request for three more Advocates General and if he is aware of the position of other Member States;
  • what the Government thinks about the impact of appeals in competition decisions being heard at the Court of Justice which allege excessive delay in the General Court as grounds to annul decisions or reduce fines; and
  • whether the additional judges to the General Court should be appointed solely on merit rather than their nationality.

The evidence session will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 6 March in Committee Room 1.

The sessions will be webcast live at and are also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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