EU-Actors: Court of Justice 

The Union's judicial body is the European Court of Justice, which is responsible for upholding as well as maintaining the uniformity of EU law. As a supranational body - the judges act independently of the Member States - the ECJ acts as a constitutional court, administrative court, labour and social court, civil court and criminal court. Its main tasks are to rule on disputes between the EU institutions and to ensure that the administrative rules of the EU Commission and the authorities of the Member States are compatible with EU law. The Court also intervenes in decisions concerning equal treatment between men and women, freedom of movement and social security for workers. In addition, decisions on fines and the execution of actions for damages are also areas in which the ECJ has to rule.


The judges of the Court of Justice are appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States for six years. The President of the Court of Justice is elected from and by the judges for a renewable term of three years. He presides over hearings and deliberations of the full Court or the Grand Chamber, directing both judicial business and administration. He also assigns cases to the chambers for examination and appoints judges as rapporteurs.

Koen Lenaerts is President of the Court of Justice since the 8th of October 2015.

© Europäische Union, 2021

Role and Responsibilities

Art.19 (1) TEU: ,,The Court of Justice of the European Union shall include the Court of Justice, the General Court and specialised courts. It shall ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed. Member States shall provide remedies sufficient to ensure effective legal protection in the fields covered by Union law."

Art. 19 (3) TEU: ,,The Court of Justice of the European Union shall, in accordance with the Treaties:

  1. rule on actions brought by a Member State, an institution or a natural or legal person;
  2. give preliminary rulings, at the request of courts or tribunals of the Member States, on the interpretation of Union law or the validity of acts adopted by the institutions;
  3. rule in other cases provided for in the Treaties."


Art.19 (2) TEU: ,,The Court of Justice shall consist of one judge from each Member State. It shall be assisted by Advocates-General. The General Court shall include at least one judge per Member State. The Judges and the Advocates-General of the Court of Justice and the Judges of the General Court shall be chosen from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who satisfy the conditions set out in Articles 253 and 254 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. They shall be appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States for six years. Retiring Judges and Advocates-General may be reappointed."






Legal judgements until 2016

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