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EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

What is ECLI?


The European Case Law Identifier is a 5-part identifier for a legal document, designed to make European case law databases more usable.

Form of the ECLI

The identifier consists of 5 components, in the following order and each separated by a colon:

1. Abbreviation "ECLI"

2. Country code (2 characters)

3. Court code (1-7 characters)

4. Year of the decision (4 digits)

5. Unique identifying number (max. 25 characters, dots allowed)

More on the ECLI components.


Examples (EU Court of Justice)


Document it identifies


27th decision by the Court of Justice in 1998


80th decision by the Civil Service Tribunal in 2010


426th decision by the General Court in 2012.


The 5th part of the Court's ECLI is a sequential number, restarted every year and specific for each court (Court of Justice, General Court, Civil Service Tribunal). It is not the CELEX number.



In 2011 the EU Council asked EU member countries to introduce the ECLI.

The Commission is also setting up a common search interface for ECLI and a minimum set of metadata as part of its e-Justice portal.