Setting up of a Panel for the partial renovation of the Judges and Advocates General of the Court of Justice

One of the least known provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon is Article 255 of the TFEU[1] which foresees the creation of a panel who gives an opinion on candidates’ suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the Court of Justice and the General Court.

The panel is composed of seven experts chosen among former members of the Court of Justice and the General Court, the highest national judicial organs and renowned juriconsults

Particularly interesting is the fact that one of the experts is put forward by the European Parliament which may influence, albeit indirectly, to the Council’s decision (obviously we are miles away from the influence exercised by national parliaments, but everybody knows that big marches are made of small steps).

The approaching of the Expiry of the terms of office of fourteen Judges of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities foreseen on 31 August has led the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union to submit the recommendation for the composition of the panel.

The Council always on the basis of the recommendation of the Court is getting ready to define the regulation on the functioning of the panel. It will entail auditions conditions (in camera) of the future judges/advocates general candidates, the possibility to request supplementary information to the Governments of the proponent states and, more importantly, the adoption of a reasoned opinion.

Currently the members suggested by the President of the Court of Justice for a period of 4 years are:

  • Mr. Jean-Marc SAUVÉ, President (currently vice president of the French Conseil d’Etat).
  • Mr Peter JANN, member (former Judge of the European Court of Justice of the European Communities)
  • Lord MANCE, member (member of the High Court of the United Kingdom)
  • Mr Torben MELCHIOR, member (President of the High Court of Denmark)
  • Mr Péter PACZOLAY, member (President of the Constitutional Court of Hungary)
  • Mss Ana PALACIO VALLELERSUNDI, member suggested by the European Parliament (former European parliamentarian, minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain and currently lawyer in Madrid)
  • Mss Virpi TIILI, member (former Judge in the court of first instance).

EDC

 


[1] Article 253 

(ex Article 223 TEC)

The Judges and Advocates-General of the Court of Justice shall be chosen from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who possess the qualifications required for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their respective countries or who are jurisconsults of recognised competence; they shall be appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States for a term of six years, after consultation of the panel provided for in Article 255.

Every three years there shall be a partial replacement of the Judges and Advocates-General, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Judges shall elect the President of the Court of Justice from among their number for a term of three years. He may be re-elected.

Retiring Judges and Advocates-General may be reappointed.

The Court of Justice shall appoint its Registrar and lay down the rules governing his service.

The Court of Justice shall establish its Rules of Procedure. Those Rules shall require the approval of the Council.

 

Article 254

(ex Article 224 TEC)

The number of Judges of the General Court shall be determined by the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Statute may provide for the General Court to be assisted by Advocates- General.

The members of the General Court shall be chosen from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who possess the ability required for appointment to high judicial office. They shall be appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States for a term of six years, after consultation of the panel provided for in Article 255. The membership shall be partially renewed every three years.

Retiring members shall be eligible for reappointment.

C 115/158 EN Official Journal of the European Union 9.5.2008

The Judges shall elect the President of the General Court from among their number for a term of three years. He may be re-elected.

The General Court shall appoint its Registrar and lay down the rules governing his service.

The General Court shall establish its Rules of Procedure in agreement with the Court of Justice. Those

Rules shall require the approval of the Council.

Unless the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union provides otherwise, the provisions of the Treaties relating to the Court of Justice shall apply to the General Court.

Article 255

A panel shall be set up in order to give an opinion on candidates’ suitability to perform the duties of

Judge and Advocate-General of the Court of Justice and the General Court before the governments of the Member States make the appointments referred to in Articles 253 and 254.

The panel shall comprise seven persons chosen from among former members of the Court of Justice and the General Court, members of national supreme courts and lawyers of recognised competence, one of whom shall be proposed by the European Parliament. The Council shall adopt a decision establishing the panel’s operating rules and a decision appointing its members. It shall act on the initiative of the President of the Court of Justice.

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