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General Court

Along with the Court of Justice, the General Court is one of the EU’s judicial institutions making up the Court of Justice of the European Union. Their purpose is to ensure a uniform interpretation and application of EU law. Decisions of the General Court can be appealed to the Court of Justice, but only on a point of law. Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009, it was known as the Court of First Instance.

The Court is responsible for dealing with:

  • cases lodged by individuals, businesses or organisations against acts by EU institutions and bodies;
  • cases lodged by EU countries against certain decisions of the Commission or the Council;
  • cases relating to the EU trade mark;
  • cases on employment relations between the EU institutions and their civil servants.

The General Court currently has 47 judges. As part of the reform of the judicial system of the EU, this number will increase to 56 (2 per EU country) in 2019. The judges are appointed for a renewable term of 6 years by common agreement of the governments of EU countries.