The court of justice: changes and activity in 2018

AuthorCourt of Justice of the European Union
A| The Court of Jus tice: changes and activ ity in 2018
IN 2018
By Mr Koen Lenaerts, President of t he Court of Justice
This rst chapter summarises the activities of the Court of Justice in 2018. t begins, in this rst part (A), by
describing briey how th e Court of Ju stice evolved during the past year and providi ng an overvie w of its
judicial activity. The second par t (B) presents, as it does each year, the main developments in the case-law,
arranged by subjec t matter. The third and fourth p arts set out the act ivity of the Court Reg istry during the
reference pe riod (C) and the statistics rela ting to the past judicial year (D), an d the fth pa rt sets out the
Court s composition during 2018 (E).
1.1. 2018 was characterised by t he partial renewal of t he Court of Justice. T he formal sitting h eld on 8 October
2018 for that occ asion was used to pay tribute to Antonio Tizzano (Advocat e General from 2000 to 2006;
judge at the Cour t since 20 06; Preside nt of a chamber of ve judges from 20 09 to 2015 an d Vice-Pr esident
of the Court from O ctober 2015 to Oc tober 2018), to José Luís da Cruz V ilaça (A dvocate G eneral bet ween
1986 and 1988; judge and P resident of the G eneral Court from 1989 to 1995; judge a t the Court fr om
2012 to 2018 and Presid ent of a chambe r of ve judges from October 2015 to Oc tober 2018), to Melch ior
Wathelet ( judge at the Court between 1995 and 20 03 and Advocate General from 2012 to 2018, holding the
position of First Advocate General from October 2014 to October 2018), to Anthony Borg Barthet (judge at
the Court from 20 04 to 2018), Paolo Mengozzi (judge at the Gene ral Court from 1998 to 2006 and Advoc ate
General at the Cour t from 2006 to 2018) and Egidijus Jara inas (judge at Court fr om 2010 to 2018).
On that same occasion, six new memb ers entered int o oce, namely Peter George Xu ereb (Malt a),
Nuno José Cardos o da Silva Piçarra (Portuga l), Lucia Serena Rossi (tal y) and rmantas Jarukait is (Lithuania),
as judges, and Ger ard Hogan (reland) and Giovanni Pit ruzzella (taly), as Ad vocates General.
1.2. A s regards the func tioning of the institution, n o changes were made durin g 2018 in respect of the
implementat ion of the reform of t he judicial stru cture of the Europ ean Union resulting f rom Regulation
(EU, Euratom) 2 015 /2422 of the Eu ropean Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 amending
Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Cour t of Justice of the European Union (OJ 2015 L 341, p. 14) , which is set
to double the numbe r of judges at the General Court by S eptember 2019.
2. As regards stat istics — and withou t prejudice to the more de tailed comment s set out in Part C of t his
chapter of the annual re port — three main t rends emerge from a reading of th e statistics re lating to the past
The rs t trend concerns the number o f cases brough t before the Court, which remains an upwa rd trend. n
fact, wi th 849 new case s, the Court re corded the highe st number of case s in its histor y. Just as in 2017,
requests for preliminar y ruling accounted for the lions share of those cases (568 new requests, accounting
for more than two thirds of all of the cases brought before the Co urt in 2018), b ut the number of ac tions for
the failure of a Member State to full obligations and appeals also increa sed notably, with 57 and 199 new
cases, respectively.
The second st riking aspec t of those statistics con cerns the high numbe r of cases closed b y the Court over
the past year — 760 cases, which is an un precedented number — a nd, especially, the number o f cases closed
by th e Grand Chamber of the Court (80 cases). Those gures b ear witne ss to both the scope of the work
undertaken b y the Court and the impor tance of the cases brought befo re it.

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