Exceptions from the regular preliminary ruling procedure before the Court of Justice of the European Union

For years, the Court of Justice of the European Union has been overloaded with requests for preliminary rulings, given that these proceedings make up more than three-quarters of the Court caseload. Such circumstances constitute a significant constraint to the operation of the Court, which is unable...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Radivojević Zoran
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: Faculty of Law, Niš 2014-01-01
Series:Zbornik Radova Pravnog Fakulteta u Nišu
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Online Access:http://scindeks-clanci.ceon.rs/data/pdf/0350-8501/2014/0350-85011467139R.pdf
Description
Summary:For years, the Court of Justice of the European Union has been overloaded with requests for preliminary rulings, given that these proceedings make up more than three-quarters of the Court caseload. Such circumstances constitute a significant constraint to the operation of the Court, which is unable to quickly and effectively respond to the preliminary questions which are referred to this Court by the national courts of Member States. In addition, the duration of the regular preliminary ruling proceedings jeopardizes the European standards not only in terms of the lengthy procedure but also in terms of observing the right of each individual to effective judicial protection within a reasonable time. In order to make the proceedings faster and more effective, the procedural rules have been repeatedly amended and supplemented. The applicable Rules of Procedure of the Court stipulate some exceptions from the regular preliminary ruling procedure. The first one is the so-called simplified procedure, where the Court renders a final decision in the form of a reasoned order, without scheduling an oral hearing and obtaining the written opinion of the Advocate-General. The Court may also decide to institute the expedited procedure, by means of which the case at issue is given absolute priority over other cases. The last exception is the urgent procedure, which is applicable only in the area of freedom, security and justice; it implies the omission of certain stages of the regular preliminary ruling procedure. The analyses presented in this paper show that the results achieved in terms of reducing the length of the regular preliminary ruling procedure are generally positive. Thus, the average time required for rendering a decision in the expedited procedure is approximately four and a half months, which is certainly a significant improvement as compared to the length of the regular procedure which takes sixteen to seventeen months. The initial results accomplished by instituting the urgent procedure are even more encouraging, as the average duration of this procedure is approximately two months. The time required for deliberation in an urgent procedure has never exceeded three months, which makes this procedure faster and more efficient than the expedited procedure.
ISSN:0350-8501
2560-3116