Thinking Justice Outside the Docket: A Critical Assessment of the Reform of the EU's Court System

40 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2017 Last revised: 9 Feb 2017

See all articles by Alberto Alemanno

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law

Laurent Pech

Middlesex University - School of Law

Date Written: January 26, 2017

Abstract

The 2015 reform of the EU’s court system will go down in history as the most radical transformation of the EU judicial architecture since the establishment of the General Court in 1989. It doubles the number of General Court judges but also dissolves the Civil Service Tribunal. This article offers a critical assessment of these two major, structural changes, addressing both the process by which they were adopted and their overall merits. After providing a detailed examination of the reform’s tortuous legislative history and highlighting its unique underlying procedural feature – with the Court itself initiating the process – this article identifies and systematizes its major shortcomings. It criticizes the underlying diagnosis and the cure administered. It concludes by presenting this reform process as a missed opportunity to address, in a more holistic manner, the pressing non-docket related challenges facing the EU judicial system, in particular, to reform a governance structure which is no longer fit for purpose considering the massive transformation of the EU judicial branch since 1951.

Keywords: Judicial Governance, Openness, Transparency, Legitimacy, Accountability, European Union, Good Governance

JEL Classification: K19, K33

Suggested Citation

Alemanno, Alberto and Pech, Laurent, Thinking Justice Outside the Docket: A Critical Assessment of the Reform of the EU's Court System (January 26, 2017). Common Market Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 1, 2017; HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2017-1187. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906475

Alberto Alemanno (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Tax & Law ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Laurent Pech

Middlesex University - School of Law ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

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