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The Many-faced Court: The Value of Participation in Annulment Proceedings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2019

Abstract

European Court of Justice – General Court – EU procedural law and practice – Procedural rights of the parties to judicial proceedings before the EU Courts – Participation of the parties to judicial proceedings and the legitimacy of judicial decisions – Accuracy of decision-making, the right to a hearing and procedural economy as guiding values of EU procedural law and practice – Different procedural practices of the General Court and the Court of Justice – The filtering of appeals by the Court of Justice – The accountability of the EU Courts for their procedural law and standards

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Articles
Copyright
© 2019 The Authors 

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Footnotes

*

PhD Researcher, Department of Law, European University Institute (Florence, Italy). This research has been enabled by a grant from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. I have greatly benefited from discussions with Deirdre Curtin, Marise Cremona, Jeffrey Dunoff, Jan Komárek, François-Xavier Millet, Laurent Pech, Urška Šadl, Michał Ziółkowski, as well as participants of the EUConst Colloquium in Amsterdam on 5 October 2018 and the seminar at the Department of European Law, University of Warsaw on 11 October 2018. I am also grateful to the members and staff of the EU Courts for information they provided. Any errors or inaccuracies are mine alone.

References

1 Damaška, M., The Faces of Justice and State Authority: A Comparative Approach to the Legal Process (Yale University Press 1986) p. 8-11 Google Scholar.

2 Fuller, L., ‘The Forms and Limits of Adjudication’, 92 Harvard Law Review (1978–1979) p. 353 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 Solum, L., ‘Procedural Justice’, 78 Southern California Law Review (2004) p. 181 Google Scholar.

4 Keppenne, J.-P., ‘Les procédures de révision du cadre réglementaire des juridictions de l’Union’, Cahiers de Droit Européen (2017) p. 343 Google Scholar.

5 Lenaerts, K. et al., EU Procedural Law (Oxford University Press 2014 Google Scholar) p. vii. These authors define EU procedural law as that which sets out the remedies and mechanisms available to enforce EU law in the EU Courts to obtain judicial protection against unlawful action on the part of EU institutions and bodies.

6 Art. 47 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Art. 19 TEU and Arts. 251-284 TFEU.

7 Protocol No 3 to the Treaties on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

8 Art. 281 TFEU.

9 Alemanno, A. and Pech, L., ‘Thinking Justice Outside the Docket: A Critical Assessment of the Reform of the EU’s Court System’, 54 CMLR (2017) p. 129 Google Scholar; Coutron, L., ‘The Changes to the General Court’, in Granger, M.-P. and Guinchard, E. (eds.), The New EU Judiciary: An Analysis of Current Judicial Reforms (Wolters Kluwer 2018) p. 143 Google Scholar. However, the Commission and the Council quite recently opposed the ECJ’s proposal for an amendment of the Statute that would transfer jurisdiction in infringement proceedings to the EGC. They highlighted the need to await assessment of the EGC enlargement in late 2020. See Commission, ‘Opinion on the draft amendments to Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, presented by the Court of Justice on 26 March 2018’ [2018] COM 534 final; Court of Justice, ‘Draft Amendment to Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union – Letter of the President of the Court of Justice’ [2018] Council doc. 11180/18.

10 Rules of Procedure of the General Court [2015] OJ L 105/1; Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice [2012] OJ L 265/1. The EU Courts also adopt other decisions, practice directions and internal guidelines.

11 Art. 253(6) TFEU and Art. 254(5) TFEU. The draft of the RPGC must be approved by the ECJ, Art. 254(5) TFEU.

12 Available sources indicate that in the process of approving recent procedural reforms the Council has focused on selected issues relating to the procedural rights and interests of the Member States. Compare successive versions of the Draft RPCJ [2011] Council doc. 11147/11, 5140/11, [2012] 6422/12, 8020/12, and Draft RPGC [2014] Council doc. 7795/14, 15628/14, 16522/14. A Court insider gives assurances, however, about intense scrutiny by the Council, Gaudissart, M.A., ‘La refonte du règlement de procédure de la Cour de justice’, 48 Cahiers de Droit Européen (2012) p. 603 Google Scholar at p. 610.

13 Keppenne, supra n. 4, p. 356. In the course of the last process of amending the Statute aimed at introducing the filtering of appeals from the General Court’s rulings lodged at the Court of Justice (see below), the Commission asked for draft rules of procedure implementing the new device without awaiting the adoption of the relevant provision of the Statute. See Commission, supra n. 9, para. 38.

14 Such a review could be provided by the ECtHR under Art. 6 ECHR, following the EU accession to the ECHR.

15 For instance, regarding the prohibition against being represented by an in-house lawyer, ECJ 24 November 2016, Case C-464/16 P, PITEE v Commission, paras. 10-14 and 23-36. Regarding the obligation to lodge submissions in the EU Courts’ headquarters, ECJ 23 April 2013, Case C-478/11 P, Laurent Gbagbo et al. v Council, para. 63. On the possibility to dispense with the oral hearing and optional procedural steps see ECJ 19 July 2017, Case C-666/16 P, Lysoform v ECHA, paras. 35-46.

16 Eckes, C. and Abazi, V., ‘Closed Evidence in EU Courts: Security, Secrets and Access to Justice’, 55 CMLR (2018) p. 753 Google Scholar.

17 Sarmiento sees efficiency as the leitmotif of Skouris’s presidency, D. Sarmieno, ‘The Skouris legacy and the Skouris Court’, Despite Our Differences, 8 October 2015, ⟨despiteourdifferencesblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/the-skouris-legacy-and-the-skouris-court/⟩, visited 28 October 2018; Sharpston, E., ‘Making the Court of Justice of the European Union More Productive’, 21 Maastricht Journal of Comparative and European Law (2014) p. 763 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Jaeger, M., ‘25 Years of the General Court: Looking Back and Forward’, in Tomljenović, V. et al., EU Competition and State Aid Rules: Public and Private Enforcement (Springer 2017) p. 3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar at p. 24, where he declared: ‘all my mandates as the President of this court have been directed at improving efficiency in delaing with cases… This is the priority I have set’.

18 The second round of written pleadings has become optional and certain procedural time limits have been shortened. See Draft RPGC, Council doc. 7795/14, supra n. 12, p. 6; See also Draft RPCJ, Council doc. 11147/11, supra n. 12, p. 2-3.

19 Draft RPGC, ibid., p. 5-6.

20 Krenn, C., ‘The European Court of Justice’s Financial Accountability: How the European Parliament Incites and Monitors Judicial Reform through the Budgetary Process’, 13 EUConst (2017) p. 453 Google Scholar; Alemanno and Pech, supra n. 9, p. 138.

21 See an overview in Barents, R., EU Remedies and Procedures (Wolters Kluwer 2016) p. 873-875 Google Scholar.

22 See voluminous guidebooks of EU procedural law: ibid.; Waegenbaur, B., Court of Justice of the EU: Commentary on Statute and Rules of Procedure (Hart 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lenaerts et al., supra n. 5; Lasok, K.P.E., European Court Practice and Procedure (Bloomsbury 2017 Google Scholar). See also the emerging scholarship regarding the impact of social relations at the Court on its decision-making: Huyue Zhang, A., ‘The Faceless Court’, 38 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law (2016) p. 71 Google Scholar; Šadl, U. and Sankari, S., ‘The Elusive Influence of the Advocate General on the Court of Justice: The Case of European Citizenship’, 36 Yearbook of European Law (2018) p. 421 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; McAuliffe, K., ‘Behind the Scenes at the Court of Justice’, in Nicola, F. and Davies, B. (eds.), EU Law Stories (Cambridge University Press 2017) p. 35 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; M. Cohen, ‘Judges or Hostages: Sitting at the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights’, in ibid., p. 58.

23 ECJ 17 December 1998, Case C-185/95 P, Baustahlgewebe v Commission, paras. 19-20.

24 Arts. 76-83 RPGC; Arts. 167-175 RPCJ.

25 Arts. 106-115 RPGC; Arts. 76-85 RPCJ.

26 Arts. 89-90 RPGC; Arts. 61-62 RPCJ.

27 Art 91 ff RPGC; Art. 63 ff RPCJ.

28 Art. 126 RPGC; Art. 180 RPCJ.

29 The data do not cover intellectual property cases (mostly regarding trademarks) which are governed by a distinct procedural regime. See Art. 171 ff RPGC. On the study of judicial practices at international courts, see Dunoff, J. and Pollack, M.A., ‘International Judicial Practices: Opening the “Black Box” of International Courts’, 40 Michigan Journal of International Law (2018) p. 47 Google Scholar.

30 Carried out under both the previous and the current RPGC. The latter entered into force on 1 July 2015.

31 Several interviewees changed positions at the EU Courts in the course of their careers. Five interviewees were judges at the General Court; four were legal secretaries at the General Court; one was a member of the Court of Justice; five were legal secretaries at the Court of Justice; one occupied another position.

32 For more elaborate taxonomies of procedural justice or due process models, see Solum, supra n. 3; Hovell, D., The Power of Process. The Value of Due Process in Security Council Sanctions Decision-Making (Oxford University Press 2016) p. 63 Google Scholar ff.

33 Mendes, J. and Venzke, I., ‘Introducing the Idea of Relative Authority’, in Mendes, J. and Venzke, I. (eds), Allocating Authority: Who Should Do What in European and International Law? (Hart 2018) p. 1 at p. 4Google Scholar.

34 Rawls calls this model ‘perfect procedural justice’: Rawls, J., Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press 1971) p. 85 Google Scholar.

35 Fuller, supra n. 2, p. 382-385; Solum, supra n. 3, p. 244-252; Galligan, D.J., Due Process and Fair Procedures: A Study of Administrative Procedures (Clarendon Press 1996)Google Scholar.

36 Kavanagh, A., ‘Participation and Judicial Review: A Reply to Jeremy Waldron’, 22 Law and Philosophy (2003) p. 456 Google Scholar.

37 Mendes, J., Participation in EU Rule-Making: A Rights-Based Approach (Oxford University Press 2011) p. 32 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

38 Galligan, supra n. 35, p. 10 and 130-162.

39 Solum, supra n. 3, p. 262. See also Mashaw, L., Due Process in the Administrative State (Yale University Press 1985)Google Scholar; Mashaw, L., ‘Administrative Due Process: The Quest for a Dignitary Theory’, 61 Boston University Law Review (1981) p. 885 Google Scholar; Saphire, R.B., ‘Specifying Due Process Values: Toward A More Responsive Approach to Procedural Protection’, 127 University of Pennsylvania Law Review (1978) p. 111 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

40 Solum, supra n. 3, p. 259.

41 Ibid., p. 260. Rawls calls this model ‘pure procedural justice’: Rawls, supra n. 34, p. 86.

42 Harel, A. and Shinar, A., ‘Between judicial and legislative supremacy: a cautious defence of constrained judicial review’, 10 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2012) p. 950 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

43 Hovell, supra n. 32, p. 63-64 and the literature cited. A model which balances accuracy and procedural economy is called by Rawls ‘imperfect procedural justice’. See Rawls, supra n. 34, p. 85-86. Solum speaks of the ‘balancing model’ of procedural justice, supra n. 3, p. 252-259. See also Bayles, M.E., Procedural Justice – Allocating to Individuals (Springer 1990) p. 115-139 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

44 Solum, supra n. 3, p. 264.

45 Values that should be realised to the greatest extent possible: Alexy, R., A Theory of Constitutional Rights (Oxford University Press 2010) p. 47 Google Scholar.

46 Barents, R., ‘EU Procedural Law and Effective Legal Protection’, 51 Common Market Law Review (2014) p. 1437 Google Scholar.

47 ECJ 14 November 2017, Case C-122/16 P, British Airways, paras. 86-87 and 89; ECJ 8 December 2011, Case C-272/09 P, KME v Commission, para. 102.

48 A plea in law is an allegation that a contested act or conduct on the part of the institution constitutes an infringement of a legal norm. Barents, supra n. 21, p. 618.

49 ECJ 14 December 1962, Cases 46 and 47/59, Meroni v High Authority.

50 ECJ 10 December 2013, Case C-272/12 P, Commission v Ireland, paras. 27-29; British Airways v European Commission, supra n. 47, para. 84.

51 Pursuant to Art. 84 RPGC, a new plea may be raised if it is based on facts that have come to light in the course of the proceedings. Pursuant to Art. 85(2) and (3) RPGC, parties may produce or offer further evidence in the course of the proceedings provided that the delay in the submission of new evidence is justified.

52 If it needs to obtain the evidence from the institution, the EGC first adopts a so-called measure of organisation of procedure. Between 2014 and 2016, a binding measure of inquiry was adopted in only 49 private annulment cases that ended in judgment (app. 9.6%). Statistical data from the EGC Registry in an email of 21 February 2018 are on file with the author.

53 EGC 16 March 2016, Case T-586/14, Xinyi v Commission, paras. 29-35 and the case law cited.

54 Mendes, J., ‘Discretion, Care and Public Interest in the EU Administration: Probing the Limits of Law’, 53 CMLR (2016) p. 419 Google Scholar; Prek, M. and Lefèvre, S., ‘“Administrative Discretion”, “Power of Appraisal” and “Margin of Appraisal” in Judicial Review Proceedings Before the General Court’, 56 CMLR (2019) p. 339 Google Scholar.

55 ECJ 14 September 2016, C-419/15 P and C-505/15 P, Ori Martin v Commission, para. 108.

56 de la Torre, F. Castillo and Fournier, E. Gippini, Evidence, Proof and Judicial Review in EU Competition Law (Edward Elgar 2017) p. 225-264 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The EU Courts used to be criticised for not adopting a sufficiently active approach to fact-finding: de la Serre, E. Barbier and Sibony, A.-L., ‘Expert Evidence before the EC Courts’, 45 CMLR (2008) p. 941 at p. 952Google Scholar.

57 Opinion of AG Jacobs in ECJ 13 July 2000, Case C-210/98 P, Salzgitter v Commission, paras. 141-142.

58 For instance, EGC 4 February 2016, Case T-676/13, Italian International Film v EACEA, para. 40 and the case law cited.

59 ECJ 16 June 1993, Case C-325/91, France v Commission, para. 26.

60 ECJ 15 March 2017, Case C-415/14 P, Quimitecnica.com and de Mello v Commission, para. 57.

61 EGC 4 December 2008, Case T-284/08, PMOI v Council, paras. 25-27.

62 The ECJ held that the breach of procedural rights did not relate to public policy, ECJ 7 February 2012, Case C-421/11 P, Total and Elf Aquitaine v Commission, para. 35. See, however, Opinion of AG Bot rejected in ECJ 8 November 2016, Case C-43/15 P, BSH v EUIPO; and EGC 15 September 2016, Case T-17/14, U4U et al. v Parliament and Council, paras. 95-96; EGC 15 September 2016, Case T-456/14, TAO-AFI et al. v Parliament and Council, paras. 151-152; EGC 17 November 2017, Case T-263/15, Gdynia and Kossakowo v Commission, paras. 70 and 89. See also Clausen, F., Les moyens d’ordre public devant la Cour de justice de l’Union européen (Bruyland 2018) p. 235-243 Google Scholar.

63 Art. 65 RPGC and Art. 62 RPCJ. For exceptions, see Arts. 104-105 and, among others, ECJ 18 July 2013, Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P and C-595/10 P, Commission v Kadi, para. 129.

64 ECJ 2 December 2009, C-89/08 P, Commission v Ireland, paras. 38-40, 50-57 and 59-61. Arguably, this requirement stems from the case law of the ECtHR, Case No. 19075/91, Vermeulen v Belgium, para. 33.

65 Fuller, supra n. 2, p. 382-383.

66 Lenaerts, K., ‘De quelques principes généraux du droit de la procédure devant le juge communautaire’, in Mélanges en hommage à Jean-Victor Louis (Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles 2003) p. 242 at p. 245-246Google Scholar. If the applicants were allowed to broaden the subject matter during the course of proceedings, they would also circumvent the time limit for bringing annulment proceedings set out in Art. 263(6) TFEU.

67 For instance, EGC 20 November 2017, Case T-702/15, BikeWorld v Commission.

68 ECJ 6 September 2012, Case C-422/11 P and C-423/11 P, PUKE & Poland v Commission, para. 23. See also EGC 13 June 2017, T-137/16, Uniwersytet Wrocławski v Research Executive Agency, in which the EGC rejected an action because the lawyer was also a professor at a university he represented. This ruling is now under appeal before the ECJ, C-515/17 P.

69 Respondent 6.

70 Xinyi v Commission, supra n. 53.

71 For instance, EGC 15 September 2016, Case T-76/14, Morningstar v Commission, para. 54.

72 Naômé, C., Le pourvoi devant la Cour de Justice de l’Union européenne (Larcier 2016) p. 41 Google Scholar.

73 Barents, supra n. 21, p. 873-885. See also one of many criticisms expressed by competition law scholars, Soltész, U., ‘Due Process and Judicial Review – Mixed Signals from Luxembourg in Cartel Cases’, 33 European Competition Law Review (2012) p. 241-247 Google Scholar.

74 For an overview, see de la Torre, F. Castillo, ‘Le relevé d’office par la juridiction communataire’, Cahiers de Droit européen (2005) p. 395 at p. 398-400 (fn 2)Google Scholar.

75 Eliantonio, M., Europeanisation of Administrative Justice? The Influence of the ECJ’s Case Law in Italy, Germany and England (Europa Law Publishing 2009) p. 160-161 Google Scholar.

76 Ibid., p. 197.

77 The ECHR standards under Art. 6 exclude neither the adversarial nor the inquisitorial system of administrative justice. See Opinion of AG Colomer in ECJ 10 January 2002, Case C-480/99 P, Gerry Plant v Commission, paras. 34-37.

78 This is debatable in light of the text of Art. 21 of the Statute.

79 It could still be argued that the system of pleas follows from Art. 263 TFEU, which stipulates that the Court of Justice can review legal acts of institutions in response to actions and considering grounds for review indicated by authorised applicants.

80 Clausen, supra n. 62, p. 287-288.

81 Damaška, supra n. 1, p. 8-11.

82 Barents, supra n. 21, p. 877-881.

83 Donner, A.M., ‘National Law and the Case Law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities’, 1 CMLR (1963) p. 8 Google Scholar.

84 Fuller, supra n. 2, p. 372-373.

85 Rassmussen, M., ‘The Origins of a Legal Revolution – The Early History of the European Court of Justice’, 2 Journal of European Integration History (2008) p. 77 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

86 Fromont, M., ‘L’influence du droit français et du droit allemand sur les conditions de recevabilité du recourse en annulation devant la Cour de justice des Communautés européennes’, Revue Trimestrielle de Droit Européen (1966) p. 47 Google Scholar.

87 Opinion of AG Jääskinen in ECJ 21 January 2016, Case C-603/13 P, Galp v Commission, para. 36; Opinion of AG Mengozzi in British Airways v Commission, supra n. 47, paras. 82-92.

88 ECJ 11 December 2008, Case C-308/07 P, Atxalandabaso v Parliament, paras. 36-38.

89 For instance, Arnull, A., ‘Judicial Review in the European Union’, in Arnull, A. and Chalmers, D. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2015) p. 377-401 Google Scholar.

90 Irrespective of any other steps already undertaken, e.g. measures of organisation of procedure. See ECJ 19 January 2006, C-547/03 P, AIT v Commission, para. 30.

91 EGC 25 June 2009, C-580/08 P, Srinivasan v Ombudsman, paras. 33-36.

92 The EGC Registry, email of 8 August 2017, on file with the author.

93 ECJ 1 July 1999, C-155/98 P, Alexopoulou v Commission, paras. 11-13.

94 ECJ 14 October 1999, C-437/98 P, Infrisa v Commission, paras. 16-24.

95 Importantly, these numbers may include a certain number of actions lodged by Member States. For intellectual property cases, this number is 33. These data come from the Greffe du Tribunal, ‘Statistiques judiciaires’, état au 31 décembre 2014, p. 10; 31 décembre 2015, p. 12; 31 décembre 2016, p. 12, received in response to a request for public access to documents on 15 February 2018, on file with the author.

96 Respondents 6, 8, 10.

97 For instance, EGC 29 June 2015, Case T-19/13, Frank Bold Society v Commission; EGC 16 September 2015, Case T-89/13, Calestep v ECHA; EGC 8 June 2016, Case T-178/15, Kohrener v Commission.

98 Respondents 3, 4, 6 and 8. As noted by the EGC President, the General Court, with its strengthened judicial capacity, can now refer more cases (87 in 2018) to Chambers in an extended composition of five judges in order to maintain the quality of case law and to deal with cases which raise very significant issues. See Court of Justice, ‘Press Release No 39/19’, 25 March 2019, available at ⟨curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-03/cp190039en.pdf⟩ accessed 26 April 2019.

99 Draft RPGC, Council doc. n. 7795/14, supra n. 12, p. 6.

100 See the predictions presented by Biavati, P., ‘The General Court’s New Rules of Procedure’ in Granger, M.-P. and Guinchard, E. (eds.), The New EU Judiciary: An Analysis of Current Judicial Reforms (Wolters Kluwer 2018) p. 293 at p. 296 and 299Google Scholar.

101 This could play out very differently in intellectual property and other types of cases. The EGC informed that in 2018 the oral hearing was not held in 29% of all cases combined and in 42% intellectual property cases. See Court of Justice, ‘Annual Report 2018 – Judicial Activity’, available at ⟨https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-04/_ra_2018_en.pdf⟩, visited 29 May 2019, p. 227.

102 Draft RPGC, Council doc. 7795/14, supra n. 12, p. 80.

103 But not intellectual property cases.

104 The problem of applications by the parties for the oral hearing will be discussed in the following section.

105 EGC Registry, supra n. 91. In the three-year period between 2010 and 2012, the EGC authorised a second exchange of written pleadings in over 95% of all direct actions. Draft RPGC, Council doc. 7795/14, supra n. 12, p. 80.

106 Ibid., p. 80-81.

107 Respondents 4, 6, 7, 9.

108 EGC Registry, supra n. 92.

109 See Art. 98(4) RPGC.

110 Respondents 4 and 7.

111 Practice Rules for the Implementation of the RPGC of 20.5.2015, OJ L 152/1, paras. 187-189.

112 ECJ 12 June 2014, Case C-578/11 P, Deltafina v Commission, paras. 57-68; Castillo de la Torre and Gippini Fournier, supra n. 56, p. 247-248.

113 Respondents 3, 6, 8, 11.

114 Respondent 11.

115 Due to the diversity and frequency of the said measures, not all of them were registered by the EGC Registry as informed by EGC Registry, supra n. 52.

116 Jaeger, M., ‘The Court of First Instance and the Management of Competition Law Litigation’, in Knninen, H. et al (eds.), EU Competition Law in Context (Hart 2009) p. 1 at p. 7Google Scholar.

117 For instance, ECJ 4 June 2015, C-682/13 P, Andechser Molkerei Scheitz v Commission, paras. 43-47.

118 Draft RPGC, Council doc. 7795/14, supra n. 12, at 6. This rule did not apply to intellectual property cases and appeals from the rulings of the Civil Service Tribunal.

119 Art. 106 RPGC.

120 Practice Rules, supra n. 111, para. 180.

121 This reading seems to be shared by Biavati, supra n. 100, p. 299.

122 Draft RPGC, Council doc. 7795/14, supra n. 12, p. 107.

123 Jaeger, supra n. 17, p. 26.

124 See the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, ‘Letter to the GC Registrar of 12 May 2015’, ⟨www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/PD_LUX/PDL_Position_papers/EN_PDL_20150512_CCBE-comments-on-the-draft-Practice-Rules-for-the-Implementation-of-the-Rules-of-Procedure-of-the-General-Court.pdf⟩, visited 26 April 2019.

125 Respondents 6, 9 and 11.

126 Respondent 4.

127 Respondent 6.

128 Respondent 4.

129 Data provided by EGC Registry, supra n. 92.

130 Respondents 3 and 5.

131 Respondent 7.

132 Art. 75 RPGC.

133 Respondents 3, 4, 6, 7, 12.

134 Practice Rules, supra n. 111, para. 115. The ECJ has also refrained from adopting a formal decision indicating the maximum length of written pleadings. However, the ECJ’s decision does seem to follow from the variety and complexity of cases lodged at the ECJ, including those lodged via the preliminary reference procedure.

135 Respondents 3 and 7.

136 Art. 139(c) RPGC.

137 Respondent 11.

138 Respondent 4 observed that certain judges have a different view on the usefulness of oral hearings.

139 Art. 256(2) TFEU. Appellants may not raise new pleas before the ECJ. See Art. 170 RPCJ and ECJ 18 February 2016, Case C-176/13, Council v Bank Mellat, para. 116.

140 Court of Justice, ‘Annual Report 2017 – Judicial Activity’, available at ⟨curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-04/_ra_2017_en.pdf⟩ visited 26 April 2019, p. 222-225.

141 Art. 167 ff RPCJ.

142 Komárek, J., ‘Reasoning with Previous Decisions: Beyond the Doctrine of Precedent’, 61 The American Journal of Comparative Law (2013) p. 149 at p. 158CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The Court of Justice is, in this respect, similar to continental supreme courts that were established to make authoritative pronouncements on what the law is rather than settle concrete legal disputes. Ibid., p. 170-171.

143 Proving this assertion would, however, require different research methods.

144 Huyue Zhang, supra n. 22, p. 121ff.

145 In the appellate procedure, procedural decisions in the written procedure are taken by the ECJ’s President. Cases are allocated to chambers only after the written procedure and a discussion of the general meeting of judges.

146 Art. 177(1) RPCJ.

147 Draft RPCJ, Council doc. 11147/11, supra n. 12, p. 123. The ECJ may be bound by a request for an oral hearing in the preliminary reference procedure. See Art. 76(3) RPCJ.

148 ECJ Registry, email of 28 July 2017, on file with the author.

149 Art. 76(2) RPCJ. Rosas, A., ‘Oral Hearing Before the European Court of Justice’, 21 Maastricht Journal of Comparative and European Law (2014) p. 596 at p. 599CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

150 Art. 76 RPCJ.

151 ECJ Registry, email of 31 July 2017, on file with the author.

152 Draft RPCJ, Council doc. 11147/11, supra n. 12, at 66. See also Lenaerts et al., supra n. 5, p. 774-775; Practice Directions to parties concerning cases brought before the Court, OJ L 31/1 of 31.1.2014, para. 46.

153 Art. 61(2) RPCJ.

154 See on the history of a change from the adversarial to inquisitorial style of hearings at the ECJ, O’Leary, S., Employment Law at the European Court of Justice: Judicial Structure, Policies and Processes (Hart 2002) p. 25-62 Google Scholar.

155 Practice Directions, supra n. 152, para. 50; Rosas, supra n. 149, p. 609.

156 As noted in the first section above, the uniformity of case law results from or is equivalent to the systemic accuracy in the application of law: if all rulings are accurate, the application of law is uniform.

157 Art. 62 of the Statute, regarding the procedure for extraordinary review of the EGC’s appellate or preliminary rulings, suggests that the main task of the ECJ is to maintain the ‘unity and consistency of Union law’. Jääskinen, N. and Sikora, A., ‘The Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Unity of the EU Legal Order’, in Cremona, M. et al., The European Union and International Dispute Settlement (Hart 2017) p. 101 Google Scholar at p. 103. See, on the so-called ‘revision model’ of supreme courts, Bobek, M., ‘Quantity or Quality? Reassessing the Role of Supreme Jurisdictions in Central Europe’, 57 American Journal of Comparative Law (2009) p. 33 at p. 36CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

158 President of the ECJ, Guide Pratique relative au traitement des affaires portées devant la Cour de Justice: Document interne de la Cour – Applicable à compter du 01/03/16, para. 23 – the ECJ’s internal document received in response to a request for public access to documents on 29 and 30 November 2017, on file with the author.

159 As observed by Respondent 6. For a contrary opinion see Barents, supra n. 21, p. 689.

160 Data obtained from the search engine on the Court’s website, ⟨www.curia.europa.eu⟩;, on the basis of a list of appeals closed by the ECJ provided by ECJ Registry, supra n. 148.

161 ECJ President, supra n. 158.

162 Ibid., paras. 2, 7-8, 13 and 39.

163 Ibid., para. 45.

164 Ibid., paras. 49-52.

165 Van der Woude, M., ‘Pour une protection juridictionnelle effective: Un rappel des objectifs de 1988’, Concurrences (2014) p. 4 at p. 11Google Scholar. Admittedly, according to the recitals of Council Decision 591/88 of 24 October 1988 establishing a Court of First Instance of the European Communities, OJ L 319, p. 1, one of the purposes was to ‘improve the judicial protection of individual interests’. But another purpose was to ‘to enable the Court to concentrate its activities on its fundamental task of ensuring uniform interpretation of Community law’.

166 As observed by Respondent 12.

167 Art. 252 TFEU.

168 For instance, ECJ 16 January 2018, Case C-570/17 P, Lackmann v EUIPO.

169 Court of Justice, ‘Amendments to Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union’, 26 March 2018, Council doc. 7586/18. Under Art. 256(1), para. 2, TEU, the rulings of the General Court ‘may be subject to a right of appeal… under the conditions and within the limits laid down by the Statute’. However, in the course of the amendment process, committees of the European Parliament were concerned about the impact of the selection device on the right to effective judicial protection. Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament, ‘Draft Opinion of 20 September 2018 on the Regulation amending Protocol no 3’ [2018] 02360/2018 – C8-0132/2018 – 2018/0900(COD).

170 A board of appeal – the EGC – the ECJ. See, for more on administrative remedies in EU law, Chirulli, P. and de Lucia, L., ‘Specialised adjudication in EU administrative law: the Boards of Appeal of EU agencies’, 40 European Law Review (2015) p. 832 Google Scholar.

171 Council, ‘Amendment of Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union - Confirmation of the final compromise text with a view to agreement’ [2019] Council doc. 5190/19, received in response to a request for public access to documents on 1 April 2019, on file with the author.

172 Proposed Art. 58a of the Statute.

173 Art. 170a RPCJ.

174 Art. 170b RPCJ.

175 Court of Justice, supra n. 169, p. 7-8.

176 Keppenne, supra n. 4.

177 Eckes and Abazi, supra n. 16.

178 Respondent 4.