Slight decrease in the overall number of cases brought before the EU Court of Justice

Statistics concerning judicial activity in 2012 regarding the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal show that a slight decrease in the overall number of cases brought before the three courts. These statistics also show that the duration of proceedings before the Court of Justice and the General Court continues to decrease significantly.

According to the EU Court of Justice, its statistics concerning judicial activity in 2012 show, overall, sustained productivity and a very significant improvement in efficiency as regards the duration of proceedings. With regard to the duration of proceedings, in the case of references for a preliminary ruling the average duration amounted to 15.7 months. Thus, the average time taken to deal with references for a preliminary ruling reached its historically shortest level in 2012. Whilst the number decreased by approximately 8% compared with 2011 (688 new cases), this is explained principally by a slight decrease, compared with 2011, in the number of appeals brought against judgments of the General Court. In 2011, the number of actions brought to the three judicial organs of the Court of Justice grew compared with 2010. The number of references for a preliminary ruling submitted in 2012 is the second highest reached in the Court’s entire history.

On the statistics concerning the General Court have succeeded in consolidating the real quantitative leap of 2011. 688 cases were completed in 2012, which constitutes the highest figure since the Court’s creation apart from the figure for 2011. The achieving of a new level of judicial productivity – which stems from the many internal reforms that have been implemented in recent years and are producing cumulative efficiency gains – has made a historic reduction in the number of pending cases possible (a reduction of 71 cases, that is to say, of more than 5%), thanks to a one-off fall in the number of new cases, of which there were 617 in 2012 (that is to say, a fall of  nearly 15%). In addition, the duration of proceedings decreased appreciably, with an average duration of 24.8 months, that is to say, 1.9months shorter than in 2011.

In contrast to the other courts, the statistics concerning the judicial activity of the Civil Service Tribunal reveal a further increase in 2012 in the number of cases brought (178) compared with the previous year (159). This number has thus been consistently rising since 2008.The number of cases brought to a close (121) fell markedly compared with that of the previous year (166), which, it must be said, represented the best result achieved by the Civil Service Tribunal in terms of quantity since its creation. According to the court, this fall is explained by the change in the composition of the Tribunal at the end of 2011.