Chapter 1.6 - The Court of Justice of the European Union -...

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The Court of Justice of the European Union Introduction The Court of Justice of the European Union comprises of three courts: The Court of Justice, the General Court and the European Union Civil Service. A feature of the EU law is that there is a joint responsibility between national courts and the Union courts for the interpretation and maintenance of EU law. The central institutional features of this judicial order is governed by Articles 267 and 274 TFEU . The Court of Justice has an exclusive responsibility to declare EU measures invalid and to provide authoritative interpretations of EU law across the Union, whilst national courts have a monopoly over the adjudication of disputes. A further feature of this order is that its only subjects are courts. Institutional relations are not governed by a system of appeal by individuals but a reference from a national court to the Court of Justice on a point of EU law. The Court of Justice has sought to expand the subjects of this judicial order by allowing may bodies to refer, which would be considered regulatory or administrative bodies rather than courts under national law. The preliminary reference procedure, is the central institutional link between courts in the Union, securing the EU legal order and judicial order. It is pivotal: first, to the development of EU law through national courts, which set out the emerging questions to be addressed by the Court of Justice; second, it is the central form of judicial review of EU institutions through individuals challenging implementation of EU measure before a national court, which then questions the legality of the EU measure in a reference; thirdly, it is central to preserving the autonomy and unity of EU law; finally, it facilitates national courts in resolving disputes that involve EU law. The relationships between the courts are managed: first, through the Court holding that its judgments bind all authorities in the Union, not just the referring court; secondly, relations between the parties are managed during the reference period through the grant of interim measures by national courts. The strategy for managing the workload of the Court of Justice is: first, national courts are prevented from referring judgments in only very limited circumstances; secondly, the central route for managing workload is the use of Chambers by the Court of Justice so that over three-quarters of cases are decided by Chambers of three or five judges; finally, certain cases are prioritized by the use of two procedures, the accelerated and urgent procedures.
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The Court of Justice of the European Union The Treaties provide for the Union to have its own Court of Justice of the European Union to ensure that the law is observed in the interpretation and application of the Treaties.
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