Diagram showing the organisation of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities from 6 October 2005 to 31 December 2006, including the European Union Civil Service Tribunal.
In an interview granted to the CVCE in November 2003, Pierre Pescatore, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities from 1967 to 1985, recalls the background to the issue of the election from among the Judges of the President of the Court of Justice.
Example of an opinion of an Advocate General, delivered in connection with Case C-271/92, 'Laboratoire de prothèses oculaires', on the subject of the free movement of goods. Advocate General Tesauro considers whether the requirement of a professional qualification for the sale of optical products constitutes 'a measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction' within the meaning of Article 30 (new Article 28) and, if so, whether this restriction is justified by the imperative requirements of the protection of health under the terms of Article 36 (new Article 30). The Advocate General, carrying out his examination in the light of the case law of the Court, places the case in its context and deduces the main issues. The task of the Advocate General to provide clarification is clear: as he classifies the judgments of the Court into three groups, corresponding to three different kinds of solutions, he systematises the Court's approach in respect of the free movement of goods, thus rendering it easier to comprehend.
This study highlights the specific features of the institution of Advocate General, his or her institutional status and role within the Court of Justice of the European Communities. Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer has been an Advocate General at the Court of Justice since 19 January 1995.
Advocates General play a special role within the Court of Justice of the European Communities. They are neither judge nor prosecutor, yet they assist with each case and deliver their opinions on questions.