Organisation of the Community jurisdictions
The Court of Justice
The Judges select the President of the Court of Justice from among their number for a term of three years. The President may be re-elected. The Advocates General do not take part in the election of the President.
The President directs the judicial business and the administration of the Court. He presides at hearings and deliberations in chambers. He assigns the cases to one of the chambers for any preparatory enquiries and appoints a Judge from the chamber to act as Judge-Rapporteur. He sets the dates and timetable for the sessions of the Grand Chamber and of the full Court. The President may also personally, in interlocutory proceedings, adjudicate upon applications to suspend execution or to prescribe interim measures (except where the case is referred to the Court).
The Advocates General
The Advocate General, acting with complete impartiality and independence, has the role of making, in open court, reasoned submissions ‘on cases which, in accordance with the Statute of the Court of Justice, require his involvement’ (Article 222 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and Article 138 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community). Since the entry into force of the Nice Treaty, the involvement of Advocates General in proceedings of the Court has no longer been systematic. The Court may decide, after hearing the Advocate General concerned, that a case may be determined without a submission by the Advocate General, where it raises no new point of law (Article 20 of the Court’s Statute, last paragraph).
The First Advocate General, appointed for a period of one year by the Court, assigns cases to Advocates General as soon as the Judge-Rapporteur has been designated by the President. The Nice Treaty also gives him exclusive competence to open the review procedure by the Court where a decision of the Court of First Instance, in actions or proceedings brought against decisions of the judicial panels, affects the unity or consistency of Community law (Article 62 of the Statute of the Court).
The Court of Justice appoints its Registrar for a term of six years, after which he may be reappointed. It may appoint one or more Assistant Registrars. The Registrar has a wide range of duties. He assists the Court, the President and the Presidents of chambers and the Judges in all their official functions. He is responsible for Registry functions such as the acceptance, transmission and custody of documents and pleadings which have been entered in a register initialled by the President. He is Guardian of the Seals and is responsible for the Court’s archives and publications. He is responsible, under the authority of the President, for the administration of the Court, its financial management and its accounts.
Officials and other servants are attached to the Court to enable it to function. They are responsible to the Registrar under the authority of the President. The Court draws up the plan for the organisation of its services (registry, library, retrieval and documentation service, translation, interpretation, personnel and finance, infrastructures).
The Assistant Rapporteurs
On a proposal from the Court of Justice, the Council, acting unanimously, may appoint Assistant Rapporteurs, charged in particular with assisting the President in connection with applications for the adoption of interim measures and with assisting the Judge-Rapporteurs in their work (Article 13 of the Statute and Article 24 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court). Use has never been made of this possibility.
The Court of First Instance
The Judges of the Court of First Instance appoint the President of the Court for a term of three years. He may be re-elected. His duties are, from a judicial viewpoint, analogous to those of the President of the Court of Justice.
The Court of First Instance appoints its own Registrar for a renewable term of six years. His duties are analogous to those of the Registrar of the Court of Justice.
The administration of the Court of First Instance, its financial management and accounts are the responsibility of the Registrar, supported by the Court of Justice’s services in the manner determined by common accord between the Presidents of the two bodies. The officials and other servants tasked with providing direct assistance to the President, the Judges and the Registrar are responsible to the Registrar of the Court of First Instance under the authority of its President (Article 52 of the Statute of the Court of Justice).
The Civil Service Tribunal
Les Judges of the Civil Service Tribunal elect the President of the Tribunal from among their number for a term of three years. He may be re-elected.
The Civil Service Tribunal appoints its Registrar and lays down the rules governing his service.
The Civil Service Tribunal is supported by the departments of the Court of Justice and of the Court of First Instance. The President of the Court of Justice or, in appropriate cases, the President of the Court of First Instance, determine by common accord with the President of the Civil Service Tribunal the conditions under which officials and other servants attached to the Court of Justice or the Court of First Instance render their services to the Civil Service Tribunal to enable it to function. The said officials and other servants are responsible to the Registrar of the Civil Service Tribunal under the authority of the President of that Tribunal (Article 6(1) of Annex I to the Statute of the Court).