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The Treaty of Lisbon and the Changes to the Organization and Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU

About changes. Source: Google images.

About changes. Source: Google images.

The Treaty of Lisbon entered into force and I began updating my study materials. Doing this, I found the Press Release No.104/09 about the changes that the Treaty of Lisbon makes to the organization and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU. According to that document, the EU courts are now known as the Court of Justice of the European Union, constituting of three courts: the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.

The changes in brief;

• A request for amendment of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union is regarded a ‘draft legislative act’ subject to the ordinary legislative procedure;

• The number of Advocates General increases from 8 to 11 on a request by the Court of Justice;

• As the today’s pillar structure disappeared, the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice now extends to the EU law that means the ability to give preliminary rulings in the area of freedom, security and justice without Member States’ declarations recognizing such jurisdiction – Articles 35 EU and 68 EC have been repealed;

• There exists urgent preliminary ruling procedure (PPU) now – http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2009-03/cp080012en.pdf

• Article 10 of Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions states that the powers of the Court of Justice remain the same in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, which have been adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and that this transitional measure ceases to have effect five years after the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon;

• Applying human rights, the Court of Justice has to take into account Protocol No 30 annexed to the TFEU on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) to Poland and to the UK;  

The CFREU now has the same legal value as the Treaties, which means that it forms part of the body of constitutional rules and principles, but the previous means that the CFREU cannot be invoked against Poland and the UK;

• Protocol No 30 applies to the Czech Republic (Doc 15265/09 Concl 3  – Conclusions of the European Council of 29 and 30 October 2009), meaning that a derogation concerning application of the CFREU also applies to the Czech Republic;

The CFSP (common foreign and security policy) remains subject to special rules and specific procedures, meaning that the Court of Justice has no jurisdiction here, except (1) monitoring the delimitation of the EU’s competences under the CFSP (the exercise of the exclusive and shared competences of the Union); and (2) jurisdiction over actions for annulment brought against decisions providing for restrictive measures against natural or legal persons adopted by the Council in connection, for example, with combating terrorism (freezing of assets);

• The Court of Justice now reviews acts of the European Council (recognized as a separate institution) – The Court of Justice may, at the request of the Member State concerned, decide on the legality of an act adopted by the European Council or by the Council where a clear risk has been identified of serious infringement by that Member State of certain values (respect for human dignity, respect for human rights, etc);

• In addition to review of actions brought by the Court of Auditors and by the European Central Bank for the purpose of protecting their prerogatives, the Court of Justice now reviews also actions brought by the Committee of the Regions for the purpose of protecting their prerogatives;

Individuals bringing their actions to the Court of Justice no longer have to demonstrate that they are individually concerned by the act in question;

• There exists an action from a national Parliament or one of its chambers for annulment of a legislative act on grounds of infringement of the principle of subsidiarity this means the review of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. The action is either lodged formally by the Government of a State, or “notified” by that Government;

• Has the Committee of the Regions been required to be consulted, also that Committee has the ability to invoke the infringement of the principle of subsidiarity;

• With regard to the infringement actions (actions for failure to fulfil obligations) – The Treaty of Lisbon speeds up the system of pecuniary sanctions (lump sum and/or penalty payment) – it enables the Court of Justice to impose pecuniary sanctions, once the initial judgment establishing an infringement has been given (for example, if a Member State fails to notify the Commission of a national measure transposing a directive);

• The European Commission may bring infringement actions in relation to measures concerning police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.

FOLLOW: A link to the general changes introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/treaty-lisbon/article-163412 



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