Specialized Court (EU)

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Specialized courts ( called judicial chambers before the Lisbon Treaty ) are organs of administration of justice in the European Union .


The administration of justice in the European Union is fundamentally the task of the European Court of Justice and the subordinate court of the European Union (originally called the Court of First Instance ). As a result of the increasing workload of these two courts, the 2001 Treaty of Nice created the possibility in Art. 225a of the EC Treaty to create an additional instance below the aforementioned courts (at that time still called judicial chambers ) for certain categories of actions or certain subject areas. The provision was changed with the Lisbon Treaty and can now be found in Art. 257 TFEU .


A specialized court is set up by means of an ordinance , which is issued in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure . In particular, the ordinance regulates the composition of the specialized courts and defines their area of ​​responsibility. Both the Commission and the Court of Justice have the right of initiative ; the other organ is to be heard.

The judges of the specialized courts are unanimously appointed by the council. They must be qualified to practice judicial activity under the law of their home state and offer every guarantee of judicial independence .

The specialized courts issue their rules of procedure in agreement with the Court of Justice. It requires the approval of the council, which decides on this with a qualified majority.


An appeal can be lodged with the General Court of the European Union against a judgment of a judicial chamber . It is basically limited to legal questions, unless the ordinance set up by the specialist court expressly provides for an extension to factual questions.


So far there has only been one such specialized court, namely the Court for the Civil Service of the European Union (EuGöD). However, this ceased operations on September 1, 2016. As a result, there is currently no specialized court at Union level.