European Court of Justice European Court of Justice, judicial branch of the European Union (EU). Located in Luxembourg, it was founded in 1958 as the joint court for the three treaty organizations that were consolidated into the European Community (the predecessor of the EU) in 1967. By the early 1990s, the court was composed of 9 advocates general and 15 judges—one judge from each of the EU nations. All members of the court are appointed for renewable six-year terms by agreement among the EU nations. The court interprets EU treaties and legislation. Although it may attempt to reconcile differences between national and EU laws, ultimately its decisions overrule those of national courts; they have tended to expand the EU's domain. Increased litigation over the years led to the establishment (1988) of a lower court, the Court of First Instances; appeals to the Court of Justice are tightly restricted. International law cases involving nations outside the EU are heard by the World Court in The Hague; the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, is
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