Court of Justice of the European Communities

Court of Justice of the European Communities

Definition of Court of Justice of The European Communities

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Court of Justice of The European Communities : (ECJ, European Court of Justice, Court of Justice of the European Communities)

An institution of the European Union that has three primary judicial responsibilities. It interprets the treaties establishing the European Community; it decides upon the validity and the meaning of *Community legislation; and it determines whether any act or omission by the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, or any member state constitutes a breach of *Community law.

The Court sits at Luxembourg. It consists of 15 judges appointed by the member states by mutual agreement and assisted by six Advocates General (*Advocate General). Proceedings before the Court involve written and oral submissions by the parties concerned. Proceedings against the Commission or the Council may be brought by the other of these two bodies, by any member state, or by individual persons; proceedings to challenge the validity of legislative or other action by either Commission or Council are known as proceedings for annulment. Proceedings against a member state may be brought by the Commission, the Council, or any other member state. Appeals from the *Court of First Instance go to the ECJ. The decisions of the Court are binding and there is no appeal against them.

The Court also has power, at the request of a court of any member state, to give a preliminary ruling on any point of Community law on which that court requires clarification.

Court of Justice of the European Union and national caselaw

Decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the national courts provide interpretation of the requirements of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the EU Procurement Directives and can establish precedents which must be observed. Caselaw, by its nature, is constantly evolving and can have significant effects.

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