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
Date Written: January 26, 2017
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: Suggested Citation