Activity of the registry of the court of justice in 2018

AuthorCourt of Justice of the European Union
Annual Repor t 2018 | Judicial Act ivity
By Mr Marc-André Gaudissart , Deputy Registrar
While the task s entrusted to it are man y and varied, in parti cular because of its spe cial place in the struc ture
of a multilingual ju dicial institut ion such as the Court of Ju stice of the European Uni on and the interfac e it
provides bet ween the courts of t he Member States and the rep resentatives of the p arties, on the one han d,
and the Member s’ cabinets and t he institution ’s department s, on the other hand , the primary t ask of the
Registr y of the Court of Justice is, of course, to ensure, rst and foremost, that the proceedings are properly
conducted and t hat the cases brought bef ore the Court of Justice are r igorously maintained, fro m the entry
of the document ins tituting the p roceedings in the Reg istry’ s register to the ser vice on the parties or the
court which re ferred it of the decision bring ing the proceedings to an end.
The number of cas es brought and closed by t he Court of Justice th erefore has a direct impa ct on the Registr y’s
workload and i ts ability to me et the many challenges it f aces, both in terms of opt imal case management
and computeris ation of procedures in a conte xt marked by increased a ttention to the prote ction of personal
data and in terms of t he broader, ongoing discussion s on the changes that should b e made to the texts
governing the judic ial architecture of the Eu ropean Union with a view to en suring, in the interes ts of litigants,
an optimal divi sion of jurisdiction bet ween the Court of Justice an d the General Court.
As the past y ear has once again been mar ked by a very stead y pace, both in terms of ca ses brought and
cases closed , the following lines will main ly be devoted to judicial act ivity, and not to the othe r tasks carried
out by the Registry, even if they have mobilised a signicant propor tion of its res ources.
Cases lodged
In 2018, 849 cases we re lodged before the Cour t of Justice
This is a new record in t he institution’ s history,
the previous re cord having been reached just one y ear earlier, with no fewer than 739 cases i ntroduced in
2017. This very signica nt increase (of the ord er of 15%) in the numb er of cases brought during a year can
be explained, rst , by the continuous increase in the number of requests for a preliminary ruling submitte d
to the Court — wi th 568 new cases, thes e requests represented in fa ct, in 2018, some 100 more cases than
in 2016 (470 cases) and almost twi ce as many as 10 years earlier (288 new preliminary ruling s in 2008)  but
also by a signic ant increase in the number of dire ct actions and appeals.
n 2018, 6 actions for annulment and 57 actions for failure to full obligations (all categories combined) were
brought before th e Court, while th e total number of new appe als, appeals against i nterim measures or
appeals on inter vention amounted to 199 in 2018 (compared with 147 in 2017). This signi cant increase is
partly du e to the increase in the numb er of cases brought be fore the General Cour t in previous year s
(2016 and 2017 in par ticular), but also to the increase in the n umber of cases close d by the General Cour t,
largely due to the in crease in the number of its jud ges following the reform of the Euro pean Union’s judicial
If we look for a momen t at the origin of the request s for a preliminary ruling — which n ow represent more
than 70% of all case s pending before the Cour t of Justice — it is apparent t hat, with one exception , courts of
all the Member St ates have applied to the Cour t of Justice over the past ye ar, which tes ties to the vitalit y of
the pre liminary ruli ng procedure and the co ndence that national cour ts place in the Co urt of Justice to
answer ques tions they may have abou t the interpretati on or validity of EU law. A s can be seen from the
following tab les, Germany and Ital y still top the ‘geograph ical’ ranking of reque sts for a preliminar y ruling —
with 78 and 68 req uests for a preliminar y ruling made in the past year respe ctively — but the cour ts of the

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