European Court of Justice

Court of Justice
of the European Union
Court of Justice
Emblem of the Court of Justice of the European Union.svg
Emblem of the Court of Justice of the European Union

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Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice
Established1952
LocationKirchberg, Curia.europa.eu
President
CurrentlyBelgium Koen Lenaerts
Since8 October 2015
Vice-President
CurrentlySpain Rosario Silva de Lapuerta
Since9 October 2018
Registrar
CurrentlySpain Alfredo Calot Escobar
Since7 October 2010
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The European Court of Justice (ECJ), officially just the Court of Justice (French: Cour de Justice), is the supreme court of the European Union in matters of European Union law. As a part of the Court of Justice of the European Union it is tasked with interpreting EU law and ensuring its equal application across all EU member states.[1]

The Court was established in 1952 and is based in Luxembourg. It is composed of one judge per member state – currently 28 – although it normally hears cases in panels of three, five or 15[2] judges. The court has been led by president Koen Lenaerts since 2015.[1]

History

The court was established in 1952, by the Treaty of Paris (1951) as part of the European Coal and Steel Community.[1] It was established with seven judges, allowing both representation of each of the six member States and being an odd number of judges in case of a tie. One judge was appointed from each member state and the seventh seat rotated between the "large Member States" (West Germany, France and Italy). It became an institution of two additional Communities in 1957 when the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) were created, sharing the same courts with the European Coal and Steel Community.

The Maastricht Treaty was ratified in 1993, and created the European Union. The name of the Court did not change unlike the other institutions. The power of the Court resided in the Community pillar (the first pillar).[3]

The Court gained power in 1997 with the signing of the Amsterdam Treaty. Issues from the third pillar were transferred to the first pillar. Previously, these issues were settled between the member states.

Following the entrance into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the ECJ's official name was changed from the "Court of Justice of the European Communities" to the "Court of Justice" although in English it is still most common to refer to the Court as the European Court of Justice. The Court of First Instance was renamed as the "General Court", and the term "Court of Justice of the European Union" will officially designate the two courts, as along with its specialised tribunals, taken together.[4]