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The General Court


The General Court has been created by the EU Council in 1988 as an "assistant" of the EU Court of Justice. The General Court has been officialy institutionalised by the Maastricht Treaty and in 2000, it became a real EU Institution, and is not anymore dependant from the EU Court of Justice. 


The General Court has 27 judges (at least one Judge from each Member State).

Up to now, there is no permanent general advocate in the General Court but a derogation has been planned by the Treaty of Nice to create some (not used yet).


The General Court has competence for:

  • direct actions brought by natural or legal persons 

                 - against acts of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union

                 - against regulatory acts

                 - against a failure to act on the part of those institutions, bodies, offices or agencies

    • actions brought by the Member States against the Commission;
    • actions brought by the Member States against the Council relating to acts adopted in the field of 

                       -  State aid

                       - ‘dumping' 

                       - and acts by which it exercises implementing powers;

    • actions seeking compensation for damage caused by the institutions of the European Union or their staff
    • actions based on contracts made by the European Union which expressly give jurisdiction to the General Court
    • actions relating to Community trade marks
    • appeals, limited to points of law, against the decisions of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal;
    • actions brought against decisions of the Community Plant Variety Office or of the European Chemicals Agency