ECJ: Extra judges issue postponed until next year by Council
Tuesday 24 July 2012
The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) will have to wait some more before getting extra judges to cope with its heavy workload. Following an agreement with the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers split the reform of the ECJ’s statute in two, on 24 July. Only the non-controversial modifications, such as creating the posts of vice-president for both the General Court and the Court of Justice, go through. No solution could be found to cater to the ECJ’s politically sensitive request for 12 more judges for the General Court, which would disrupt the balance of one judge per member state. Dealing with this demand was therefore postponed until next year. According to a diplomat, normally such issues can only be solved in the framework of a bigger package, such as a treaty change. Other non-controversial changes that went through included allowing the presidents of the five-judge chambers not to participate in the cases sent to the large chamber and increasing the number of judges who can participate in the work of the large chamber from 13 to 15. To cover for prolonged sickness absences in the Civil Service Tribunal, a provision is created for interim judges to be appointed to the specialised tribunals.