CJEU: New procedural rules regarding specific appeals

The Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") recently adopted new rules on whether or not to allow appeals to proceed in cases that have already been considered twice – once by an independent board of appeal and once by the General Court. The Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice have been amended accordingly. These amendments came into effect on 1 May 2019. In order to make its work more efficient, the CJEU introduced a mechanism to decide whether or not to admit an appeal in such circumstances. The admittance will only be granted when the appeal raises an issue that is significant with respect to the unity, consistency or development of EU law. The decision will be made by a chamber set up specifically for this purpose.

However, only specific procedures are concerned in regards to the amendments. In particular, the competence and procedure relating to preliminary rulings according to Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") will not change.

Only cases will be subject to this additional procedural requirement where the appeal to the CJEU concerns decisions of the General Court relating to decisions of an independent board of appeal in the following offices/agencies:

  • the European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA") (Helsinki/Finland),
  • the European Union Aviation Safety Agency ("EASA") (Cologne/Germany),
  • the Community Plant Variety Office ("CPVO") (Angers/France), and
  • the European Union Intellectual Property Office ("EUIPO") (Alicante/Spain).

An appellee will now have to attach to its appeal a request outlining why the appeal should be allowed. Without such additional request, the appeal will be immediately declared inadmissible. If the CJEU deems the request admissible, they will rule on whether or not to allow the appeal to proceed.

Impact: Access to the CJEU is no longer automatically granted in all cases, respectively potentially achieving access is related to enhanced efforts. Access to CJEU could require enhanced efforts in the scope of these recent changes.

Strategy: In order to enhance the chances of admissibility, you should take into account these specific procedural requirements from the beginning of litigation.

The press release of the CJEU can be found here. Please click here for the publication in the official Journal.

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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