Court of Justice of the European Union
Emblem of the Court of Justice of the European Union
Palais de la Cour de Justice, Luxembourg
|Annual budget||EUR 357,060,000 (2015)|
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CJEU is the chief judicial authority of the European Union and oversees the uniform application and interpretation of European Union law, in cooperation with the national judiciary of the member states. CJEU also resolves legal disputes between national governments and EU institutions, and may take action against EU institutions on behalf of individuals, companies or organisations whose rights have been infringed.
CJEU consists of two major courts and one specialised court:
- the Court of Justice, informally known as European Court of Justice (ECJ) which hears applications from national courts for preliminary rulings, annulment and appeals;
- the General Court, which hears applications for annulment from individuals, companies and, less commonly, national governments (focusing on competition law, State aid, trade, agriculture and trade marks); and
- the Civil Service Tribunal, a specialised court which hears disputes between the EU and its staff.
CJEU's specific mission is to ensure that "the law is observed" "in the interpretation and application" of the Treaties of the European Union. To achieve this, it:
- reviews the legality of actions taken by the EU's institutions;
- enforces compliance by member states with their obligations under the Treaties, and
- interprets European Union law.
CJEU was originally established in 1952 as a single court called the Court of Justice of the European Coal and Steel Communities (as of 1958 the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC)).
The General Court was created in 1988 (known as the Court of First Instance) and the Civil Service Tribunal was created in 2004.
With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the court system obtained its current name (Court of Justice of the European Union), while the court itself was renamed "Court of Justice".
- Gunnar Beck, The Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice of the EU (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2013)
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