Monday, 7 March 2011

ECJ under scrutiny

European Court of Justice released statistical data on its judicial activity in 2010. It brings good news to consumers since it shows that references for a preliminary ruling have never been dealt with so quickly as in the previous year. This means that consumers had to wait shorter for an answer of the European Court of Justice whether the national law applicable in their cases could be seen as compatible with European law.

On the other hand, last year the ECJ received more cases per year than ever before (1406 cases brought in 2010, 631 new cases, 385 references for preliminary ruling). This means that while the proceedings in front of the ECJ are being shortened (average duration: 16,1 months), at the same time more and more national proceedings are being prolonged by being referred to the ECJ. That's not good news for consumers, at all.

Moreover, the ECJ had completed 574 cases in 2010 which is slightly less than in 2009 (588 cases). That is not at all surprising to me, taking into account that whenever I access the ECJ's website recently it seems that the ECJ is not proceeding in that week... Maybe someone should look into national holiday agenda for the ECJ and adjust it to Dutch rather than e.g. Polish standards...

Press release may be found here.

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