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Lords Committee to investigate Court of Justice of the EU

30 July 2010

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The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Justice and Institutions has today issued a call for evidence for its new inquiry into the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an expansion of the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal), which combined with the enlargement of the EU has increased the volume and range of legal issues coming before the Court.

The Committee will examine the workload of the Court of Justice of the European Union, looking at the time taken for cases to be dealt with and potential measures that could improve the speed with which cases are dealt with.

In particular, the Committee invite evidence to questions including:

  • What significant issues are highlighted by statistics relating to past and current workloads of the Court of Justice of the EU?
  • What are the challenges and/or impediments to the Courts handling their workload effectively?
  • What measures would improve the working of the Courts, bearing in mind the limited possibility of Treaty change?

Commenting on the launch of its inquiry, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Lord Bowness said:

“There is a general perception that the Court is unable to handle its current workload and could face difficulties in managing an increase to its workload within reasonable timescales due to the Lisbon Treaty changes. We want to consider how the Lisbon Treaty changes will be felt in terms of workload and efficiency, for example by looking at the turnaround times for disposal of cases and how these compare to other courts of equivalent standing”.