Advocate General (ECJ)

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The Advocates General at the European Court of Justice support the judges of the European Court of Justice in their decision-making. There are currently eleven advocates general.

Legal basis

Article 252 of the TFEU provided for the European Court of Justice to be assisted by eight Advocates General, the number ofwhich can be increasedby the Council by unanimous decision. On the occasion of the signature of the Lisbon Treaty , Member States stated that the number of Advocates General should be increased to 11 if the Court so requested. In June 2013 it was decided to increase the number of Advocates General to nine as soon as possible and from October 2015 to 11.


It is the task of the Advocate General to submit a proposal for a judgment in the form of reasoned opinions after the hearing, publicly and in complete impartiality and independence, insofar as the Statute of the Court of Justice requires his participation. His job is therefore not comparable to that of a public prosecutor. Rather, his Opinion can be compared to a certain extent with a hypothetical first-instance assessment which is immediately submitted to an imaginary next instance, in this case the actual section of the Court of Justice. To this end, the Advocate General summarizes the previous case law of the ECJ in similar cases and uses it to justify his ideas regarding the assessment of the present case. The Advocate General is not the representative of either party, but should develop his proposal independently and neutrally. The ECJ is not bound by these proposals, but in fact it follows the proposals of the Advocate General in around three quarters of all cases.

Oral hearing and opinion in the procedure

The Court of Justice, on the report of the Judge-Rapporteur and after hearing the Advocate General, decides whether the case requires the taking of evidence, to which panel the case is assigned and whether there will be an oral hearing. In the oral hearing before the ECJ, the parties present their statements to the panel and the advocate general. The judges and the Advocate General may ask the parties any questions they deem appropriate. A few weeks later, again in public, the Advocate General delivered his Opinion to the Court of Justice. In it he deals in particular with the legal questions of the dispute and, in complete independence, proposes to the Court of Justice the decision which, in his opinion, should be given in the dispute. This concludes the oral procedure. If a case does not raise new questions of law, the Court of Justice, after hearing the Advocate General, may decide to rule without an Opinion.

List of Advocates General

Advocates-General are by a unanimous decision of the Governments of the Member States after consulting the committee referred Art. 255 TFEU appointed expert committee formed, which de facto of a unanimous decision Council of the European Union equivalent. The six large Member States, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, have a permanent Advocate General. The remaining five Advocates General will be staffed on a rotation basis with representatives from the small Member States. The following order is currently planned: Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania.

The following list contains all persons who were or are working as advocates general at the European Court of Justice as of August 2019. The names of the eleven currently serving Advocates General are highlighted in bold .

Country of origin Surname Term of office
FranceFrance France Maurice Lagrange 1952-1964
GermanyGermany Germany Karl Roemer 1953-1973
ItalyItaly Italy Alberto Trabucchi 1973-1976
FranceFrance France Joseph Gand 1964-1970
FranceFrance France Alain Louis Dutheillet de Lamothe 1970-1972
FranceFrance France Henri Mayras 1972-1981
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Jean-Pierre Warner 1973-1981
GermanyGermany Germany Gerhard Reischl 1973-1981
ItalyItaly Italy Francesco Capotorti 1976-1982
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Gordon Slynn 1981-1988
FranceFrance France Simone Rozès 1981-1984
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Pieter Verloren van Themaat 1981-1986
ItalyItaly Italy G. Federico Mancini 1982-1988
GermanyGermany Germany Carl Otto Lenz 1984-1997
FranceFrance France Marco Darmon 1984-1994
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg Jean Mischo 1986-1991
PortugalPortugal Portugal José Luís da Cruz Vilaça 1986-1988
BelgiumBelgium Belgium Walter van Gerven 1988-1994
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Francis Geoffrey Jacobs 1988-2006
ItalyItaly Italy Giuseppe Tesauro 1988-1998
DenmarkDenmark Denmark Claus Christian Gulmann 1991-1994
GreeceGreece Greece Georgios Cosmas 1994-2000
DenmarkDenmark Denmark Michael Bendik Elmer 1994-1997
FranceFrance France Philippe Léger 1994-2006
ItalyItaly Italy Antonio Mario La Pergola 1995-1999
IrelandIreland Ireland Nial Fennelly 1995-2000
SpainSpain Spain Dámaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer 1995-2009
GermanyGermany Germany Siegbert Alber 1997-2003
ItalyItaly Italy Antonio Saggio 1998-2000
ItalyItaly Italy Antonio Tizzano 2000-2006
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Leendert Adrie Geelhoed 2000-2006
AustriaAustria Austria Christine Stix-Hackl 2000-2006
GermanyGermany Germany Juliane Kokott 2003- 2021
PortugalPortugal Portugal Miguel Poiares Maduro 2003-2009
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Eleanor Sharpston 2006- 2021
ItalyItaly Italy Paolo Mengozzi 2006-2018
FranceFrance France Yves Bot 2006- 2024
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia Ján Mazák 2006–2012
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Verica Trstenjak 2006–2012
FinlandFinland Finland Niilo Jääskinen 2009-2015
SpainSpain Spain Pedro Cruz Villalón 2009-2015
BelgiumBelgium Belgium Melchior Wathelet 2012-2018
SwedenSweden Sweden Nils choice 2012– 2018
PolandPoland Poland Maciej Szpunar 2013- 2024
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic Michal Bobek 2015- 2021
DenmarkDenmark Denmark Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe 2015- 2021
SpainSpain Spain Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona 2015- 2021
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria Evgeni Tanchev 2016- 2021
IrelandIreland Ireland Gerard Hogan 2018– 2024
ItalyItaly Italy Giovanni Pitruzzella 2018– 2024
EstoniaEstonia Estonia Priit picamae 2019- 2025

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Declaration by the Conference of Member States on Art. 222 TFEU (PDF; 11 kB)
  2. Press release (PDF; 215 kB) from June 25, 2013. Accessed on October 23, 2013.
  3. see e.g. B. Master's thesis by Branislav Urbanič (Berlin) , p. 32 with evidence contained therein
  4. ^ Page of the European Court of Justice, List of Judges and Advocates General , accessed on September 20, 2016.