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Document 32018Q1121(01)

Amendments to the Practice Rules for the Implementation of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court

OJ L 294, 21.11.2018, p. 23–43 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/proc_rules/2018/1121/oj

21.11.2018   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 294/23


AMENDMENTS TO THE PRACTICE RULES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE GENERAL COURT

THE GENERAL COURT,

Having regard to Article 224 of its Rules of Procedure;

Having regard to the Practice Rules for the Implementation of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court;

Whereas the General Court adopted amendments to its Rules of Procedure on 11 July 2018 (1) and the Decision of the General Court on the lodging and service of procedural documents by means of e-Curia, also on 11 July 2018; (2)

Whereas, in accordance with those texts, the e-Curia application will become the only means of exchanging documents between representatives of the parties and the Registry of the General Court from 1 December 2018;

Whereas certain points in the Practice Rules should be adapted accordingly;

Whereas it is also desirable, in the interests of the parties and of the General Court, to provide clarification in respect of the reckoning of time limits, the submission of applications for suspension of operation or enforcement or other interim measures, the use of technology at hearings, and the rules on addressing the General Court in the case of individuals who do not have the status of representative;

Whereas all references to appeals before the General Court against decisions of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal should be removed in pursuance of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2016/1192 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on the transfer to the General Court of jurisdiction at first instance in disputes between the European Union and its servants; (3)

Whereas the changes made to the text of the Practice Rules in force are such that points should be renumbered and cross-references updated to ensure greater legibility;

HAS ADOPTED THESE AMENDMENTS TO THE PRACTICE RULES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE GENERAL COURT:

Article 1

The Practice Rules for the Implementation of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court (4) are hereby amended as follows:

1.

The following footnote is inserted at the end of the tenth recital after the words ‘under Article 105(11) of the Rules of Procedure’:

‘Decision (EU) 2016/2387 of the General Court of 14 September 2016 concerning the security rules applicable to information or material produced in accordance with Article 105(1) or (2) of the Rules of Procedure (OJ L 355, 24.12.2016, p. 18) (“decision of the Court of 14 September 2016”).’

2.

After the tenth recital, the following is inserted as the eleventh recital:

‘Whereas the rules on the lodging and service of procedural documents by means of e-Curia are contained in the decision adopted by the Court under Article 56a(2) of the Rules of Procedure;’

3.

The eleventh recital is accompanied by a footnote worded as follows:

‘Decision of the General Court of 11 July 2018 on the lodging and service of procedural documents by means of e-Curia (OJ L 240, 25.9.2018, p. 72) (“decision of the Court of 11 July 2018”).’

4.

In the last recital commencing ‘After consulting’, the words ‘, now the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO),’ are added after ‘the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)’.

5.

In point 7, the words ‘Outside the Registry's opening hours, procedural documents may’ are replaced by ‘Outside the Registry's opening hours, the annex referred to in Article 72(4) of the Rules of Procedure and the procedural document referred to in Article 147(6) of the Rules of Procedure may’.

6.

In point 9, the reference to ‘the decision adopted by the Court under Article 105(11) of the Rules of Procedure’ is replaced by a reference to ‘the decision of the Court of 14 September 2016’.

7.

In point 13:

a)

the words ‘made on the original of the procedural document lodged by the parties or on the version deemed to be the original of that document, 2 as well as on every copy which is served on them.’ are replaced by ‘made on the procedural document placed on the case file, as well as on every copy which is served on the parties.’;

b)

the footnote is deleted.

8.

Points 14 to 270, and the titles relating thereto, are replaced by the following:

‘14.

The date of lodgment referred to in point 13 above shall be, depending on the circumstances: the date referred to in Article 5 of the decision of the Court of 11 July 2018, the date on which the document was received by the Registry, the date referred to in point 7 above, or the date referred to in the second paragraph of Article 3 of the decision of the Court of 14 September 2016. In the cases provided for by the first paragraph of Article 54 of the Statute, the date of lodgment referred to in point 13 above shall be the date on which the procedural document was lodged, via e-Curia, with the Registrar of the Court of Justice or, in the case of a document lodged as referred to in Article 147(6) of the Rules of Procedure, the date on which the document was lodged with the Registrar of the Court of Justice.

15.

In accordance with Article 125c of the Rules of Procedure, material produced in the context of the amicable settlement procedure referred to in Articles 125a to 125d of the Rules of Procedure shall be entered in a specific register which shall not be subject to the rules set out in Articles 36 and 37 of those Rules.

D.   Case number

16.

When an application initiating proceedings is registered, the case shall be given a serial number preceded by “T-” and followed by an indication of the year.

17.

Applications for interim measures, applications to intervene, applications for rectification or interpretation, applications for the Court to remedy a failure to adjudicate, applications for revision, applications for the Court to set aside judgments by default or initiating third-party proceedings, applications for the taxation of costs and applications for legal aid relating to pending cases shall be given the same serial number as the principal action, followed by a reference to indicate that the proceedings concerned are separate special forms of procedure.

18.

An application for legal aid made with a view to bringing an action shall be given a serial number preceded by “T-”, followed by an indication of the year and a specific reference.

19.

An action which is preceded by an application for legal aid in connection therewith shall be given the same case number as the latter.

20.

Where the Court of Justice refers a case back to the Court following the setting aside or review of a decision, that case shall be given the number previously allocated to it when it was before the Court, followed by a specific reference.

21.

The serial number of the case together with the names of the parties shall be indicated on the procedural documents, in correspondence relating to the case and, without prejudice to Article 66 of the Rules of Procedure, in the publications of the Court and in the documents of the Court on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

E.   Case file and inspection of the case file

E.1.   Maintenance of the case file

22.

The case file shall contain: the procedural documents (where applicable together with the annexes thereto) which will be taken into account in the determination of the case, bearing the note referred to in point 13 above, signed by the Registrar; the correspondence with the parties; where applicable, the minutes of the meeting with the parties, the report for the hearing, minutes of the hearing and minutes of the inquiry hearing, and the decisions taken in the case.

23.

The documents placed on the case file shall be given a serial number.

24.

The confidential and non-confidential versions of procedural documents and of the annexes thereto shall be filed separately in the case file.

25.

Documents relating to the special forms of procedure referred to in point 17 above shall be filed separately in the case file.

26.

Material produced in the context of the amicable settlement procedure as provided for in Article 125a of the Rules of Procedure shall be placed in a file separate from the case file.

27.

A procedural document and annexes thereto which are produced in a case and placed on the file of that case may not be taken into account for the purpose of preparing another case for hearing.

28.

At the close of the proceedings before the Court, the Registry shall arrange for the case file and the file referred to in Article 125c(1) of the Rules of Procedure to be closed and archived. The closed file shall contain a list of all the documents on the case file, an indication of their number, and a cover page showing the serial number of the case, the parties and the date on which the case was closed.

29.

The treatment of information or material produced pursuant to Article 105(1) or (2) of the Rules of Procedure shall be governed by the decision of the Court of 14 September 2016.

E.2.   Inspection of the case file

30.

The representatives of the main parties to a case before the Court may inspect the case file, including administrative files produced before the Court, at the Registry and may request copies of procedural documents or extracts of the case file and of the register.

31.

The representatives of the parties granted leave to intervene pursuant to Article 144 of the Rules of Procedure shall have the same right of inspection of the case file as the main parties, subject to Article 144(5) and (7) of the Rules of Procedure.

32.

In joined cases, the representatives of all parties shall have the right to inspect the files in the cases concerned by the joinder, subject to Article 68(4) of the Rules of Procedure.

33.

Any person having made an application for legal aid pursuant to Article 147 of the Rules of Procedure without the assistance of a lawyer shall have the right to inspect the file relating to the legal aid.

34.

Authorisation to inspect the confidential version of procedural documents and of any annexes thereto shall be granted only to the parties in respect of whom no confidential treatment has been ordered.

35.

As regards information or material produced pursuant to Article 105(1) or (2) of the Rules of Procedure, reference is made to point 29 above.

36.

The requirements of points 30 to 35 above do not apply to access to the file referred to in Article 125c(1) of the Rules of Procedure. Access to that specific file is governed by Article 125c of the Rules of Procedure.

F.   Originals of judgments and orders

37.

Originals of judgments and orders of the Court shall be kept in chronological order in the archives of the Registry. A certified copy shall be placed on the case file.

38.

At the parties' request, the Registrar shall supply them with a copy of the original of a judgment or of an order, if necessary in a non-confidential version.

39.

The Registrar may supply uncertified copies of judgments and orders to third parties who so request, provided that those decisions are not already publicly accessible and do not contain confidential information.

40.

Orders rectifying a judgment or an order, judgments or orders interpreting a judgment or an order, judgments given on applications to set aside judgments by default, judgments given and orders made in third-party proceedings or on applications for revision and judgments or orders of the Court of Justice in appeals or in reviews of decisions shall be mentioned in the margin of the judgment or order concerned. The original or a certified copy shall be appended to the original of the judgment or order.

G.   Translations

41.

The Registrar shall, in accordance with Article 47 of the Rules of Procedure, arrange for everything said or written in the course of the proceedings to be translated, at the request of a Judge, an Advocate General or a party, into the language of the case or, where necessary, into another language as provided for in Article 45(1) of the Rules of Procedure. Where, for the purposes of the efficient conduct of the proceedings, a translation into another language, as provided for in Article 44 of the Rules of Procedure, is necessary, the Registrar shall also arrange for such a translation to be made.

H.   Witnesses and experts

42.

The Registrar shall take the measures necessary for giving effect to orders requiring the taking of expert opinion or the examination of witnesses.

43.

The Registrar shall obtain from witnesses evidence of their expenses and loss of earnings and from experts a fee note accounting for their expenses and services.

44.

The Registrar shall cause sums due to witnesses and experts under the Rules of Procedure to be paid by the cashier of the Court. In the event of a dispute concerning such sums, the Registrar shall refer the matter to the President in order for a decision to be taken.

I.   Registry's scale of charges

45.

Where an extract from the register is supplied in accordance with Article 37 of the Rules of Procedure, the Registrar shall impose a Registry charge of EUR 3,50 per page for a certified copy and EUR 2,50 per page for an uncertified copy.

46.

Where a copy of a procedural document or an extract from the case file is supplied to a party on paper at his request in accordance with Article 38(1) of the Rules of Procedure, the Registrar shall impose a Registry charge of EUR 3,50 per page for a certified copy and EUR 2,50 per page for an uncertified copy.

47.

Where an authenticated copy of an order or of a judgment is, for the purposes of enforcement, supplied to a party at his request in accordance with Article 38(1) or Article 170 of the Rules of Procedure, the Registrar shall impose a Registry charge of EUR 3,50 per page.

48.

Where an uncertified copy of a judgment or of an order is supplied in accordance with point 39 above to a third party at his request, the Registrar shall impose a Registry charge of EUR 2,50 per page.

49.

Where, at the request of a party, the Registrar arranges for a translation to be produced of a procedural document or an extract from the case file, the size of which is considered in accordance with Article 139(b) of the Rules of Procedure to be excessive, a Registry charge of EUR 1,25 per line shall be imposed.

50.

Where a party or an applicant for leave to intervene has repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements of the Rules of Procedure or of these Practice Rules, the Registrar shall impose a Registry charge, in accordance with Article 139(c) of the Rules of Procedure, which may not exceed EUR 7 000 (2 000 times the charge of EUR 3,50 referred to in points 45 to 47 above).

J.   Recovery of sums

51.

Where sums paid out by way of legal aid, sums paid to witnesses or experts, or avoidable costs, within the meaning of Article 139(a) of the Rules of Procedure, incurred by the Court are recoverable by the cashier of the Court, the Registrar shall demand payment of those sums from the party who is to bear them.

52.

If the sums referred to in point 51 above are not paid within the period prescribed by the Registrar, he may request the Court to make an enforceable order and, if necessary, require its enforcement.

53.

Where Registry charges are recoverable by the cashier of the Court, the Registrar shall demand payment of those sums from the party or the third party who is to bear them.

54.

If the sums referred to in point 53 above are not paid within the period prescribed by the Registrar, he may adopt an enforceable decision under Article 35(4) of the Rules of Procedure and, if necessary, require its enforcement.

K.   Publications and posting of documents on the internet

55.

The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union the names of the President and of the Vice-President of the Court and of the Presidents of Chambers who have been elected by the Court, the composition of the Chambers and the criteria applied in the allocation of cases to them, the criteria applied in order to complete the formation of the Court or to attain the quorum, as the case may be, where a member of the formation of the Court is prevented from acting, the name of the Registrar and of any Deputy Registrar(s) elected by the Court, and the dates of the judicial vacations.

56.

The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union the decisions referred to in Article 11(3), Article 56a(2) and Article 105(11) of the Rules of Procedure.

57.

The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union the legal aid form.

58.

The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union notices of proceedings brought and of decisions closing proceedings, save in the case of decisions closing proceedings adopted before the application has been served on the defendant.

59.

The Registrar shall ensure that the case-law of the Court is made public in accordance with arrangements adopted by the Court. Information concerning those arrangements shall be available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

II.   GENERAL PROVISIONS ON PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH CASES

A.   Service

60.

Service shall be effected by the Registry in accordance with Article 57 of the Rules of Procedure.

61.

The copy of the document to be served shall be accompanied by a letter specifying the case number, the register number and a brief indication of the nature of the document.

62.

Where a document is served in accordance with Article 57(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the addressee shall be informed of such service by the transmission by e-Curia of a copy of the letter accompanying the document to be served and drawing his attention to the provisions of Article 57(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

63.

The proof of service shall be kept on the case file.

64.

If service of the application on the defendant is attempted unsuccessfully, the Registrar shall prescribe a time limit within which the applicant is to supply additional information for service or to ask whether the applicant will agree to use, at his own expense, the services of a judicial officer for the purpose of re-serving the application.

B.   Time limits

65.

As regards Article 58(1)(a) and (b) of the Rules of Procedure, where a time limit is expressed in weeks, months or years, it shall expire at the end of the day which, in the last week, month or year indicated in the time limit, is the same day of the week, or falls on the same date, as the day on which the time limit began to run, that is the day on which the event which started time running occurred, or the action which started time running took place, and not the following day.

66.

Article 58(2) of the Rules of Procedure, according to which a time limit which would otherwise end on a Saturday, Sunday or an official holiday is to be extended until the end of the next working day, shall be applicable only where the entire time limit, including the extension on account of distance, ends on a Saturday, Sunday or official holiday.

67.

The Registrar shall prescribe the time limits provided for in the Rules of Procedure, in accordance with the authority accorded to him by the President.

68.

In accordance with Article 62 of the Rules of Procedure, procedural documents or items received at the Registry after the time limit prescribed for their lodgment has expired may be accepted only with the authorisation of the President.

69.

The Registrar may extend the time limits prescribed, in accordance with the authority accorded to him by the President. When necessary, he shall submit to the President proposals for the extension of time limits. Applications for extensions of time limits must be duly reasoned and be submitted in good time before the expiry of the time limit prescribed.

70.

A time limit may not be extended more than once save for exceptional reasons.

C.   Anonymity

71.

Where a party considers that his identity should not be made public in a case brought before the Court, he must request, pursuant to Article 66 of the Rules of Procedure, that the Court “anonymise” the relevant case, in whole or in part.

72.

The application for anonymity must be made by a separate document stating appropriate reasons.

73.

In order to ensure that anonymity is preserved, the application must be made at the outset of the proceedings. On account of the dissemination of information concerning the case on the internet, the practical effect of anonymisation is jeopardised if the case concerned has been referred to in the list of cases brought before the Court that is published on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union or if the notice of the case concerned has already been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

D.   Omission of information vis-à-vis the public

74.

In accordance with Article 66 of the Rules of Procedure, a party may submit an application for the identity of third parties mentioned in connection with the proceedings or certain confidential information to be omitted from those documents relating to the case to which the public has access.

75.

The application for omission must be made by a separate document. It must accurately identify the information concerned and state the reasons for which each item of information is regarded as confidential.

76.

In order to ensure that the information concerned is not disclosed to the public, it is recommended that the application be made at the outset of the proceedings, or when lodging the procedural document containing the information concerned, or immediately after becoming aware of that procedural document, as the case may be. On account of the dissemination of information concerning the case on the internet, omitting information vis-à-vis the public becomes much more difficult if the notice of the case concerned has already been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, or where the decision of the Court taken in the course of proceedings or closing them has been made available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

III.   PROCEDURAL DOCUMENTS AND THE ANNEXES THERETO

A.   Lodging of procedural documents and annexes via e-Curia

77.

All procedural documents must be lodged at the Registry by exclusively electronic means using the e-Curia application (https://curia.europa.eu/e-Curia) in compliance with the decision of the Court of 11 July 2018 and the Conditions of use of e-Curia, save for those cases referred to in points 89 to 91 below. The latter two documents shall be available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

78.

The representative lodging a document via e-Curia must satisfy all the requirements laid down in Article 19 of the Statute and must, if he is a lawyer, have the requisite independence from the party he represents.

79.

The use of the representative's personal username and password shall be equivalent to his signature on the procedural document lodged in accordance with Article 3 of the decision of the Court of 11 July 2018, and is intended to guarantee the authenticity of that document. By the use of his personal username and password, the representative shall accept responsibility for the content of the document lodged.

B.   Presentation of procedural documents and annexes

B.1.   Procedural documents

80.

The following information must appear on the first page of each procedural document:

(a)

the case number (T-…/0000), where it has already been notified by the Registry;

(b)

the title of the procedural document (application, defence, response, reply, rejoinder, application to intervene, statement in intervention, plea of inadmissibility, observations on …, replies to questions, etc.);

(c)

the names of the applicant, of the defendant, of the intervener, if any, and of any other party to the proceedings in intellectual property cases;

(d)

the name of the party on whose behalf the procedural document is lodged.

81.

In order to facilitate the electronic consultation of procedural documents, these must be submitted:

(a)

in A4 format;

(b)

with a commonly used font (such as Times New Roman, Courier or Arial) in at least 12 point in the body of the text and at least 10 point in the footnotes, with single line spacing, and upper, lower, left and right margins of at least 2,5 cm;

(c)

with each paragraph numbered consecutively;

(d)

with each page numbered consecutively.

B.2.   Schedule of annexes

82.

The schedule of annexes must appear at the end of the procedural document. Annexes submitted without a schedule of annexes will not be accepted.

83.

The schedule of annexes must indicate, for each item annexed:

(a)

the number of the annex (by reference to the procedural document to which the items are annexed, using a letter and a number: for example, Annex A.1, A.2, … for annexes to the application; B.1, B.2, … for annexes to the defence or to the response; C.1, C.2, … for annexes to the reply; D.1, D.2, … for annexes to the rejoinder);

(b)

a short description of the annex (for example: “letter”, followed by its date, author and addressee and the number of pages);

(c)

the page numbers of the first and last pages of each annex, according to the consecutive page numbering of the annexes (for example: pages 43 to 49 of the annexes);

(d)

the number of the paragraph in which the item is first mentioned and its relevance described.

84.

In order to ensure optimal handling by the Registry, any annexes that are in colour must be clearly indicated as such in the schedule of annexes.

B.3.   Annexes

85.

Only those items mentioned in the actual text of a procedural document which are referred to in the schedule of annexes and which are necessary in order to prove or illustrate its contents may be submitted as annexes to a procedural document.

86.

Items annexed to a procedural document must be submitted in such a way as to facilitate the electronic inspection of documents by the Court and to avoid any possibility of confusion. Accordingly, the following requirements must be complied with:

(a)

each annex must be numbered in accordance with point 83(a) above;

(b)

it is recommended that each annex be introduced by means of a specific cover page;

(c)

where annexes are documents which themselves contain annexes, they must be arranged and numbered in such a way as to avoid any possibility of confusion;

(d)

items annexed to a procedural document must be paginated in the top right-hand corner, in ascending order. Those items must be paginated consecutively but separately from the procedural document to which they are annexed;

(e)

the annexes must be easily legible.

87.

Each reference to an item lodged must state the relevant annex number as given in the schedule of annexes and indicate the procedural document with which the annex has been lodged (for example: Annex A.1 to the application).

C.   Presentation of files lodged by e-Curia

88.

Procedural documents and annexes thereto lodged by means of the e-Curia application shall be presented in the form of files. In order to assist the Registry in handling them, it is recommended to follow the practical guidance given in the e-Curia User Guide available online on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union, namely:

files must include names identifying the procedural document (Pleading, Annexes Part 1, Annexes Part 2, Covering letter, etc.);

the text of the procedural document can be saved in PDF directly from the word-processing software without the need for scanning;

the procedural document must include the schedule of annexes;

the annexes must be contained in one or more files separate from the file containing the procedural document. A file may contain several annexes. It is not obligatory to create one file per annex. It is recommended that annexes be added in ascending order when they are lodged, and that they be sufficiently clearly named (for example: Annexes 1 to 3, Annexes 4 to 6, etc.).

D.   Lodging of documents otherwise than by e-Curia

89.

The general rule according to which all procedural documents must be lodged at the Registry by means of e-Curia shall be without prejudice to those cases referred to in Article 105(1) and (2) and Article 147(6) of the Rules of Procedure.

90.

In addition, annexes to a procedural document, which are mentioned in the body of that document and which by their nature cannot be lodged by e-Curia, may be sent separately by post or delivered to the Registry in accordance with Article 72(4) of the Rules of Procedure, provided that they are mentioned in the schedule of annexes to the document lodged by e-Curia. The schedule of annexes must identify which annexes are to be lodged separately. Those annexes must reach the Registry no later than 10 days after the lodging of the procedural document by e-Curia. They must be lodged at the following address:

Registry of the General Court of the European Union

Rue du Fort Niedergrünewald

L-2925 Luxembourg

91.

Where it is technically impossible to lodge a procedural document by e-Curia, the representative must follow the procedure laid down in Article 7 of the decision of the Court of 11 July 2018. The copy of the document lodged otherwise than by e-Curia in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 7 of the decision of the Court of 11 July 2018 must include the schedule of annexes and all the annexes referred to therein. It is not necessary for the copy of the procedural document thus lodged to be signed by hand.

E.   Non-acceptance of procedural documents and items

92.

The Registrar shall refuse to enter in the register and to place on the case file procedural documents and, where appropriate, items which are not provided for by the Rules of Procedure. If in doubt the Registrar shall refer the matter to the President in order for a decision to be taken.

93.

Save in the cases expressly provided for by the Rules of Procedure and subject to points 99 and 100 below, the Registrar shall refuse to enter in the register and to place on the case file procedural documents or items drawn up in a language other than the language of the case.

94.

Where a party challenges the Registrar's refusal to enter a procedural document or an item in the register and to place it on the case file, the Registrar shall submit that issue to the President for a decision on whether the document or item in question is to be accepted.

F.   Regularisation of procedural documents and annexes

F.1.   General

95.

The Registrar shall ensure that procedural documents placed on the case file and the annexes thereto are in conformity with the provisions of the Statute and the Rules of Procedure, and with these Practice Rules.

96.

If necessary, he shall allow the parties a period of time for making good any formal irregularities in the procedural documents lodged.

97.

In the event of any repeated failure to comply with the requirements of the Rules of Procedure or of these Practice Rules, requiring regularisation to be sought, the Registrar will request the party or applicant for leave to intervene to pay the costs involved in the requisite processing thereof by the Court, in accordance with Article 139(c) of the Rules of Procedure.

98.

Where annexes are still not submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure or of these Practice Rules despite requests for regularisation, the Registrar shall refer the matter to the President for a decision on whether to refuse to accept those annexes.

99.

Where material annexed to a procedural document is not accompanied by a translation into the language of the case, the Registrar shall require the party concerned to make good the irregularity if such a translation appears necessary for the purposes of the efficient conduct of the proceedings. If the irregularity is not made good, the annexes in question shall be removed from the case file.

100.

Where an application to intervene originating from a third party other than a Member State is not drawn up in the language of the case, the Registrar shall require the application to be put in order before it is served on the parties. If a version of such an application drawn up in the language of the case is lodged within the time limit prescribed for this purpose by the Registrar, the date on which the first version, not in the language of the case, was lodged shall be taken as the date on which the procedural document was lodged.

F.2.   Regularisation of applications

101.

If an application does not comply with the requirements specified in Annex 1 to these Practice Rules, the Registry shall not serve it and a reasonable time limit shall be prescribed for the purposes of putting it in order. Failure to put the application in order may result in the action being dismissed as inadmissible, in accordance with Article 78(6), Article 177(6) and Article 194(5) of the Rules of Procedure.

102.

If an application does not comply with the procedural rules specified in Annex 2 to these Practice Rules, service of the application shall be delayed and a reasonable time limit shall be prescribed for the purposes of putting the application in order.

103.

If an application does not comply with the procedural rules specified in Annex 3 to these Practice Rules, the application shall be served and a reasonable time limit shall be prescribed for the purposes of putting it in order.

F.3.   Regularisation of other procedural documents

104.

The instances of regularisation referred to in points 101 to 103 above shall apply as necessary to procedural documents other than the application.

IV.   THE WRITTEN PART OF THE PROCEDURE

A.   Length of written pleadings

A.1.   Direct actions

105.

In direct actions within the meaning of Article 1 of the Rules of Procedure, the maximum number of pages (5) shall be as follows.

In direct actions other than those brought pursuant to Article 270 TFEU:

50 pages for the application and for the defence;

25 pages for the reply and for the rejoinder;

20 pages for a plea of inadmissibility and for observations thereon;

20 pages for a statement in intervention and 15 pages for observations thereon.

In direct actions brought pursuant to Article 270 TFEU:

30 pages for the application and for the defence;

15 pages for the reply and for the rejoinder;

10 pages for a plea of inadmissibility and for observations thereon;

10 pages for a statement in intervention and 5 pages for observations thereon.

106.

Authorisation to exceed those maximum lengths will be given only in cases involving particularly complex legal or factual issues.

A.2.   Intellectual property cases

107.

In intellectual property cases, the maximum number of pages (6) shall be as follows:

20 pages for the application and for responses;

15 pages for the cross-claim and for responses thereto;

10 pages for a plea of inadmissibility and for observations thereon;

10 pages for a statement in intervention and 5 pages for observations thereon.

108.

Authorisation to exceed those maximum lengths will be given only in cases involving particularly complex legal or factual issues.

A.3.   Regularisation of excessively long pleadings

109.

A pleading comprising a number of pages which exceeds by 40 % or more the maximum number of pages prescribed in points 105 and 107 above, as the case may be, shall require regularisation, unless otherwise directed by the President.

110.

A pleading comprising a number of pages which exceeds by less than 40 % the maximum number of pages prescribed in points 105 and 107 above, as the case may be, may require regularisation if so directed by the President.

111.

Where a party is requested to put his pleading in order on account of its excessive length, service of the pleading which requires regularisation on account of its length shall be delayed.

B.   Structure and content of written pleadings

B.1.   Direct actions

1.   Application initiating proceedings

112.

The mandatory information to be included in the application initiating proceedings is prescribed by Article 76 of the Rules of Procedure.

113.

The introductory part of the application should be followed by a brief account of the facts giving rise to the dispute.

114.

The precise wording of the form of order sought by the applicant must be stated either at the beginning or at the end of the application.

115.

Legal arguments should be set out and grouped by reference to the particular pleas in law to which they relate. Each argument or group of arguments should generally be preceded by a summary statement of the relevant plea. In addition, the pleas in law put forward should ideally each be given a heading to enable them to be identified easily.

116.

The documents referred to in Article 51(2) and (3) and Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure must be produced together with the application.

117.

For the purposes of the production of the document required by Article 51(2) of the Rules of Procedure certifying that the lawyer representing a party or assisting the party's agent is authorised to practise before a court of a Member State or of another State which is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, reference may be made to a document previously lodged in a case before the Court.

118.

Each application must be accompanied by a summary of the pleas in law and main arguments relied on, designed to facilitate the drafting of the notice required to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in accordance with Article 79 of the Rules of Procedure.

119.

In order to assist the Court in processing the summary of pleas in law and main arguments relied on, it is requested that the summary:

be produced separately from the body of the application and the annexes mentioned in the application;

not exceed two pages;

be prepared in the language of the case in accordance with the model available online on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

be transmitted by email, as an ordinary electronic file produced using word-processing software, to GC.Registry@curia.europa.eu, indicating the case to which it relates.

120.

If the application is lodged after the submission of an application for legal aid, the effect of which, under Article 147(7) of the Rules of Procedure, is to suspend the time limit prescribed for the bringing of an action, this must be stated at the beginning of the application initiating proceedings.

121.

If the application is lodged after service of the order making a decision on an application for legal aid or, where no lawyer is designated in that order to represent the applicant for legal aid, after service of the order designating the lawyer instructed to represent the applicant for legal aid, reference must also be made in the application to the date on which the order was served on the applicant.

122.

In order to facilitate formal preparation of the application, the parties' representatives are invited to consult the document entitled “Aide-mémoire: Application”, which is available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

2.   Defence

123.

The mandatory information to be included in the defence is prescribed by Article 81(1) of the Rules of Procedure.

124.

The precise wording of the form of order sought by the defendant must be stated either at the beginning or at the end of the defence.

125.

Any fact alleged by the applicant which is contested must be specified and the basis on which it is contested expressly stated.

126.

Since the legal framework of the proceedings is fixed by the application, the legal arguments developed in the defence must, so far as is possible, be set out and grouped by reference to the pleas in law or complaints put forward in the application.

127.

Points 116 and 117 above shall apply to the defence.

128.

In cases brought pursuant to Article 270 TFEU, the institutions should preferably annex to the defence any acts of general application cited which have not been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, together with details of the dates of their adoption, their entry into force and, where applicable, their repeal.

3.   Reply and rejoinder

129.

Where there is a second exchange of pleadings, the main parties may supplement their legal arguments with a reply or a rejoinder, as the case may be.

130.

The framework and the pleas in law or complaints at the heart of the dispute having been set out (or disputed) in depth in the application and the defence, the purpose of the reply and the rejoinder shall be to allow the applicant and the defendant to make clear their position or to refine their arguments on an important issue, and to respond to new matters raised in the defence and in the reply. The President may also, pursuant to Article 83(3) of the Rules of Procedure, himself specify the matters to which those procedural documents should relate.

B.2.   Intellectual property cases

1.   Application initiating proceedings

131.

The mandatory information to be included in the application initiating proceedings is prescribed by Article 177(1) of the Rules of Procedure.

132.

The application must also contain the information referred to in Article 177(2) and (3) of the Rules of Procedure.

133.

The documents referred to Article 177(3) to (5) of the Rules of Procedure must be produced together with the application.

134.

Points 113 to 115, 117 and 120 to 122 above shall apply to applications in intellectual property cases.

2.   Response

135.

The mandatory information to be included in the response is prescribed by Article 180(1) of the Rules of Procedure.

136.

The precise wording of the form of order sought by the defendant or by the intervener must be stated either at the beginning or at the end of the response.

137.

The documents referred to Article 177(4) and (5) of the Rules of Procedure must be produced together with the response lodged by the intervener, in so far as those documents have not already been lodged in accordance with Article 173(5) of the Rules of Procedure.

138.

Points 117, 125 and 126 above shall apply to the response.

3.   Cross-claim and responses to the cross-claim

139.

If, when the application has been served on him, a party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal other than the applicant intends to challenge the contested decision on a point not raised in the application, that party must introduce a cross-claim when lodging his response. That cross-claim must be introduced by a separate document and meet the requirements set out in Articles 183 and 184 of the Rules of Procedure.

140.

Where such a cross-claim is made, the other parties to the proceedings may submit a pleading in response confined to the form of order sought, the pleas in law and the arguments relied on in the cross-claim.

V.   THE ORAL PART OF THE PROCEDURE

A.   Requests for a hearing

141.

As is apparent from Article 106 of the Rules of Procedure, the Court shall arrange a hearing either of its own motion or at the request of a main party.

142.

A main party who wishes to present oral argument must submit a reasoned request for a hearing, within three weeks after service on the parties of notification of the close of the written part of the procedure. That reasoning — which is not to be confused with written pleadings or observations and should not exceed three pages — must be based on a real assessment of the benefit of a hearing to the party in question and must indicate the elements of the case file or arguments which that party considers it necessary to develop or refute more fully at a hearing. In order better to ensure that the arguments remain focused at the hearing, the statement of reasons should preferably not be in general terms merely referring, for example, to the importance of the case.

143.

If no reasoned request is submitted by a main party within the prescribed time limit, the Court may decide to rule on the action without an oral part of the procedure.

B.   Preparation for the hearing

144.

The parties shall be given notice to attend the hearing by the Registry at least one month before it takes place, provided always that, where the circumstances so require, a shorter period of notice may apply.

145.

In accordance with Article 107(2) of the Rules of Procedure, requests for an adjournment of the hearing shall be granted only in exceptional circumstances. Such requests may be lodged only by the main parties, must state adequate reasons, be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents, and be submitted to the Court as soon as possible after notice to attend has been given.

146.

If the representative of a party intends not to be present at the hearing, he is requested to inform the Court as soon as possible after notice to attend has been given.

147.

The Court will make every effort to ensure that the parties' representatives receive a summary report for the hearing three weeks before the hearing. The purpose of the summary report for the hearing is to enable the parties to prepare for the hearing.

148.

The summary report for the hearing, drawn up by the Judge-Rapporteur, shall be confined to setting out the pleas in law and a succinct summary of the parties' arguments.

149.

Any observations the parties may wish to make on the summary report for the hearing may be made at the hearing. In such cases, a reference to such observations shall be recorded in the minutes of the hearing.

150.

The summary report for the hearing shall be made available to the public outside the courtroom on the day of the hearing, unless the case is to be entirely heard in camera.

151.

Before every public hearing the Registrar shall cause the following information to be displayed outside the courtroom in the language of the case: the date and time of the hearing, the competent formation of the Court, the case(s) which will be called and the names of the parties.

152.

A request to use particular technical means for the purposes of a presentation must be made at least two weeks before the date of the hearing. If the request is approved by the President, the arrangements for such use of technology should be made with the Registry, so that any technical or practical constraints can be taken into account. The sole object of the presentation shall be to illustrate the information contained in the case file and it must not, therefore, contain new pleas in law or new evidence. Supporting material for such presentations shall not be placed on the case file, nor, therefore, shall it be served on the other parties, unless the President otherwise decides.

153.

In view of the security measures in place to control access to the buildings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it is recommended that the parties' representatives take the necessary steps to ensure that they are present in the courtroom at least 15 minutes before the hearing is due to start, as the members of the formation of the Court will normally wish to discuss the organisation of the hearing with them.

154.

In order to prepare for their participation in a hearing, the parties' representatives are invited to consult the following document, which is available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union: “Aide-mémoire: Hearing of oral argument”.

C.   Conduct of the hearing

155.

The parties' representatives shall be required to appear before the Court in their gowns.

156.

The purpose of the hearing shall be:

where necessary, to reiterate in condensed form the position taken by the parties, emphasising the key submissions advanced in writing;

to clarify, if necessary, certain arguments advanced during the written part of the procedure and to submit any new material arising from events occurring after the close of the written part of the procedure and which therefore could not have been set out in the pleadings;

to reply to any questions put by the Court.

157.

It will be for each party to assess, in the light of the purpose of the hearing, as defined in point 156 above, whether oral argument is really necessary or whether it would be sufficient simply to refer to the written observations or pleadings. The hearing can then concentrate on the replies to questions put by the Court. If the representative does consider it necessary to address the Court, it is recommended that he confine himself to making specific points and referring to the pleadings in relation to other points.

158.

Where, before the hearing, the Court has invited the parties, in accordance with Article 89(4) of the Rules of Procedure, to concentrate in their oral pleadings on one or more specified issues, those issues must be addressed as a matter of priority in the oral submissions.

159.

If a party refrains from presenting oral argument, this shall not constitute acquiescence in the oral argument presented by another party where the arguments in question have already been refuted in writing. Such silence shall not preclude that party from responding to the other party's submission.

160.

In the interests of clarity and in order to enable the Members of the Court to understand oral submissions better, it will generally be preferable for Counsel to speak freely on the basis of notes rather than to read out a written text. The parties' representatives are also requested to simplify their presentation of the case as far as possible and to use short sentences. It would also assist the Court if representatives could structure their oral argument and indicate, before developing it, the structure they intend to adopt.

161.

In order to assist the Court in relation to certain technical issues, the President of the formation may authorise the parties' representatives to give the floor to individuals who, despite not having the status of representative, are best placed to comment. Those individuals shall intervene only in the presence of the representative of the party concerned and responsibility for them shall lie with him. Before addressing the Court, those individuals must identify themselves.

162.

The time taken in presenting oral submissions may vary, depending on the complexity of the case and on whether or not new facts have arisen. Each of the main parties will be allowed 15 minutes and each intervener will be allowed 10 minutes to present oral submissions (in joined cases, each of the main parties will be allowed 15 minutes for each case and each intervener will be allowed 10 minutes for each case), unless the Registry has indicated otherwise. These limitations shall apply only to the oral submissions themselves and not to the time required to answer questions put at the hearing or for final replies.

163.

If circumstances so require, a request for leave to exceed the speaking time normally allowed, giving reasons and indicating the speaking time considered necessary, may be made to the Registry at least two weeks (or less, in duly substantiated exceptional circumstances) before the date fixed for the hearing. When such requests are made, representatives will be informed of the time which they will have for presenting their oral submissions.

164.

When several representatives act for a party, only two of them may normally present oral argument, and their combined speaking time must not exceed the time limits indicated in point 162 above. However, representatives other than those who addressed the Court may answer questions from Members of the Court and make final replies.

165.

Where two or more parties are advancing the same argument before the Court (a situation which may arise where, in particular, there are interventions or where cases are joined), their representatives are requested to confer with each other before the hearing in order to avoid any repetition.

166.

When citing a decision of the Court of Justice, the General Court or the Civil Service Tribunal, representatives are requested to refer to it by the usual name of the case and the case number, and, where relevant, to specify the relevant paragraph(s).

167.

In accordance with Article 85(3) of the Rules of Procedure, the main parties may, exceptionally, produce further evidence at the hearing. In such cases, the other parties will be heard on the admissibility and content thereof. It would be prudent to bring sufficient copies where appropriate.

D.   Interpretation

168.

In order to facilitate interpretation, parties' representatives are requested to send any text or written notes for their submissions to the Interpretation Directorate in advance by email (interpret@curia.europa.eu).

169.

Any notes for submissions thus transmitted will be treated in the strictest confidence. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, the name of the party must be stated. Notes for submissions will not be placed on the case file.

170.

Representatives are reminded that, depending on the case being heard, only some of the Members of the bench may be following the oral argument in the language in which it is being presented; the other Members will be listening to the simultaneous interpretation. In the interests of the better conduct of the hearing and of maintaining the quality of the simultaneous interpretation, representatives are strongly advised to speak slowly and directly into the microphone.

171.

Where representatives intend to cite verbatim passages from certain texts or documents, particularly passages not appearing in the case file, it would be helpful if they would indicate the passages concerned to the interpreters before the hearing. Similarly, it may be helpful to draw the interpreters' attention to any terms which may be difficult to translate.

E.   Minutes of the hearing

172.

The Registrar shall draw up in the respective language of each case the minutes of every hearing. Those minutes shall contain: an indication of the case; the date, time and place of the hearing; an indication, where applicable, that the case was heard in camera; the names of the Judges and the Registrar present; the names and status of the parties' representatives present; a reference to any observations on the summary report for the hearing; the surnames, forenames, status and permanent addresses of any witnesses or experts examined; an indication, where applicable, of the procedural documents or items produced at the hearing; and, in so far as is necessary, the statements made at the hearing and the decisions pronounced at the hearing by the Court or the President.

VI.   CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT

A.   General

173.

In accordance with Article 64 and subject to the provisions of Article 68(4), Article 104, Article 105(8) and Article 144(7) of the Rules of Procedure, the Court shall take into consideration only those procedural documents and items which have been made available to the representatives of the parties and on which they have been given an opportunity of expressing their views.

174.

It follows that, without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 103 to 105 of the Rules of Procedure, no consideration may be given to an application by the applicant for certain information on the case file to be treated as confidential in relation to the defendant. Likewise, no such application may be made by the defendant in relation to the applicant.

175.

Nevertheless, a main party may apply for certain confidential information on the case file to be excluded from the documents to be communicated to an intervener in accordance with Article 144(7) of the Rules of Procedure.

176.

Each party may also request that a party to joined cases not be given access to certain information in the files concerned by the joinder on account of its alleged confidentiality, in accordance with Article 68(4) of the Rules of Procedure.

B.   Confidential treatment where an application to intervene has been made

177.

Where an application to intervene is made in a case, the main parties are requested to state, within the time limit prescribed by the Registrar to that effect, whether they wish to seek confidential treatment in respect of certain information included in the procedural documents already placed on the case file.

178.

The main parties must submit simultaneously with any procedural document or item that they may lodge subsequently any application for confidential treatment that may be required in respect of the procedural document or item concerned. In the absence of such an application, the procedural documents and items lodged will be communicated to the intervener.

179.

Any application for confidential treatment must be made by a separate document. It may not be lodged as a confidential version and must not, therefore, contain confidential information.

180.

An application for confidential treatment must specify the party in relation to whom confidentiality is requested.

181.

An application for confidential treatment must be limited to what is strictly necessary and may not in any event cover the entirety of a procedural document; only exceptionally may it extend to the entirety of an annexed document. It should usually be possible to furnish a non-confidential version of a procedural document and items in which certain passages, words or figures have been deleted without affecting the interests it is sought to protect.

182.

An application for confidential treatment must accurately identify the particulars or passages to be excluded and state the reasons for which each of those particulars or passages is regarded as confidential. Failure to provide such information may result in the application being refused by the Court.

183.

On lodging an application for confidential treatment in respect of one or more procedural documents, a party must produce a full non-confidential version of each procedural document and item concerned, with the confidential particulars or passages removed.

184.

Where an application for confidential treatment does not comply with points 179, 180 and 183 above, the Registrar shall request the party concerned to put the application in order. If, despite such a request, the application for confidential treatment is not made to comply with the requirements of these Practice Rules, it will not be possible for it to be properly processed, and a copy of every procedural document and item concerned will be communicated to the intervener.

C.   Confidential treatment where cases are joined

185.

Where it is envisaged that several cases will be joined, the parties are requested to state, within the time limit prescribed by the Registrar to that effect, whether they wish to seek confidential treatment in respect of certain information included in the procedural documents and material already placed on the files of the cases concerned by the joinder.

186.

The parties must submit simultaneously with any procedural document or item that they may lodge subsequently any application for confidential treatment that may be required in respect of the procedural document or item concerned. In the absence of such an application, the procedural documents and items lodged will be made available to the other parties in the joined cases.

187.

Points 179 to 184 above shall apply to applications for confidential treatment submitted where cases are joined.

D.   Confidential treatment under Article 103 of the Rules of Procedure

188.

The Court may, pursuant to the measures of inquiry referred to in Article 91 of the Rules of Procedure, order a party to produce information or material relating to the case. In accordance with Article 92(3) of the Rules of Procedure, such production may be ordered only where the party concerned has not complied with a measure of organisation of procedure previously adopted to that end, or where expressly requested by the party concerned by the measure and that party explains the need for such a measure to be in the form of an order for a measure of inquiry.

189.

Where a main party submits in his response to an application for a measure of organisation of procedure that certain information or material is confidential and he therefore objects to its transmission or proposes that a measure of inquiry be adopted, the Court shall, if it considers that that information or material may be relevant in order for it to rule in the case, order its production by means of an order for a measure of inquiry under Article 91(b) of the Rules of Procedure. The treatment of confidential information or material thus produced before the Court shall be governed by Article 103 of the Rules of Procedure. The regime in question does not provide for any derogation from the principle of the adversarial nature of the proceedings, but lays down the rules for the implementation of that principle.

190.

In accordance with that provision, the Court shall examine the relevance of the information or material to the outcome of the proceedings and verify the confidential nature of that information or material. If it considers that the information concerned is both relevant to the outcome of the proceedings and confidential, the Court shall weigh that confidentiality against the requirements linked to the right to effective judicial protection, particularly observance of the adversarial principle, and, after weighing up those matters, will have two options.

191.

The Court may decide that the information or material must be brought to the attention of the other main party, notwithstanding its confidential nature. In that respect, the Court may, by way of a measure of organisation of procedure, request the representatives of the parties other than the party who produced the confidential information to give an undertaking to preserve the confidentiality of the document or item by not communicating to their respective clients or to a third party the information that is to be disclosed to them. Any breach of that undertaking may result in Article 55 of the Rules of Procedure being applied.

192.

Alternatively, the Court may decide not to communicate the confidential information, whilst nevertheless ensuring that the other main party is provided with non-confidential information so that he can, to the greatest extent possible, make his views known in compliance with the adversarial principle. The Court shall then order the main party who produced the confidential information to communicate certain particulars in such a way as to enable the preservation of the confidentiality of the information to be reconciled with the adversarial nature of the proceedings. It will, for example, be possible for the information to be transmitted in summarised form. If the Court considers that the other main party cannot properly exercise his rights of defence, it may make one or more orders, until it considers that the proceedings can properly be continued on an adversarial basis.

193.

Where the Court considers that the communication of information to the other main party in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the order made under Article 103(3) of the Rules of Procedure has enabled that party to present his views effectively, the confidential information or material which has not been brought to the attention of that party shall not be taken into consideration by the Court. The confidential information or material shall be removed from the file, and the parties informed accordingly.

E.   Confidential treatment under Article 104 of the Rules of Procedure

194.

In the context of its review of the legality of a measure adopted by an institution denying access to a document, the Court may order, by way of a measure of inquiry under Article 91(c) of the Rules of Procedure, that the document be produced.

195.

The document produced by the institution shall not be communicated to the other parties, as the action would otherwise be devoid of purpose.

F.   Confidential treatment under Article 105 of the Rules of Procedure

196.

In accordance with Article 105(1) and (2) of the Rules of Procedure, a main party to the proceedings may, on his own initiative or following a measure of inquiry ordered by the Court, produce information or material pertaining to the security of the European Union or to that of one or more of its Member States or to the conduct of their international relations. Article 105(3) to (10) lays down the procedural rules applicable to such information or material.

197.

In view of the sensitive, confidential nature of information or material pertaining to the security of the Union or to that of one or more of its Member States or to the conduct of their international relations, the application of the body of rules established by Article 105 of the Rules of Procedure requires a suitable security framework to be set up in order to ensure a high level of protection for that information or material. That framework is documented in the decision of the Court of 14 September 2016.

VII.   LEGAL AID

198.

In accordance with Article 147(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the use of a form in making an application for legal aid shall be compulsory. The form is available on the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

199.

An applicant for legal aid who is not represented by a lawyer when the legal aid form is lodged may, in accordance with Article 147(6) of the Rules of Procedure, lodge the duly completed and signed paper form at the Registry by post or physically deliver it to the address indicated in point 90 above. Forms not bearing a handwritten signature will not be processed.

200.

Where the applicant for legal aid is represented by a lawyer when the legal aid form is lodged, the form shall be lodged in accordance with Article 72(1) of the Rules of Procedure, taking into account the requirements of points 77 to 79 above.

201.

The legal aid form is intended to provide the Court, in accordance with Article 147(3) and (4) of the Rules of Procedure, with the information required to give an effective decision on the application for legal aid. The information required concerns:

the legal aid applicant's financial situation

and,

where the action has not yet been brought, the subject matter of that action, the facts of the case and the arguments relating thereto.

202.

The legal aid applicant shall be required to produce, together with the legal aid form, documentary evidence to support the information referred to in point 201 above.

203.

Where applicable, the documents referred to in Article 51(2) and (3) and Article 78(4) of the Rules of Procedure must be produced together with the legal aid form.

204.

The duly completed legal aid form and supporting documents must be intelligible in themselves.

205.

Without prejudice to the Court's power to request information or the production of further documents under Articles 89 and 90 of the Rules of Procedure, the application for legal aid may not be supplemented by the subsequent filing of additional material. Such material shall be rejected, unless it has been lodged at the request of the Court. In exceptional cases, supporting documents intended to establish the applicant's lack of means may nevertheless be accepted subsequently, subject to the delay in their production being adequately explained.

206.

Under Article 147(7) of the Rules of Procedure, the introduction of an application for legal aid shall suspend the time limit prescribed for the bringing of the action to which the application refers until the date of service of the order making a decision on that application or, where no lawyer is designated in that order to represent the applicant for legal aid, until the date of service of the order designating the lawyer instructed to represent him.

207.

Since the lodging of an application for legal aid has the effect of suspending the time limit prescribed for bringing an action until service of the order referred to in point 206 above, the remaining period within which the application initiating proceedings may be lodged may be very short. Recipients of legal aid who are duly represented by a lawyer are therefore advised to pay particular attention to compliance with the legal time limit.

VIII.   URGENT PROCEDURES

A.   Expedited procedure

A.1.   Request for an expedited procedure

208.

In accordance with Article 152(1) of the Rules of Procedure, a request for an expedited procedure must be made by a separate document lodged simultaneously with the application initiating the proceedings or the defence, as the case may be, and contain a statement of reasons specifying the particular urgency of the case and any other relevant circumstances.

209.

In order to facilitate immediate processing by the Registry, the request for an expedited procedure must state on the first page that it is lodged under Articles 151 and 152 of the Rules of Procedure.

210.

The application in respect of which the expedited procedure is requested must not in principle exceed 25 pages. Such an application must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set out in points 112 to 121 above.

211.

It is recommended that the party applying for the expedited procedure specify in his request the pleas in law, arguments or passages of the pleading in question (application or defence) which are put forward only in the event that the case is not decided under the expedited procedure. That information, referred to in Article 152(2) of the Rules of Procedure, must be clearly specified in the request, indicating the numbers of the paragraphs concerned.

A.2.   Abridged version

212.

It is recommended that an abridged version of the relevant pleading be annexed to any request for an expedited procedure which contains the information referred to in point 211 above.

213.

Where an abridged version is annexed, it must comply with the following directions:

(a)

the abridged version shall be in the same format as the original version of the pleading in question, with omitted passages being identified by the word “omissis” in square brackets;

(b)

paragraphs which are retained in the abridged version shall keep the same numbering as in the original version of the pleading in question;

(c)

if the abridged version does not refer to all the annexes to the original version of the pleading in question, the schedule of annexes accompanying the abridged version shall identify each annex omitted by the word “omissis”;

(d)

annexes which are retained in the abridged version must keep the same numbering as in the schedule of annexes in the original version of the pleading in question;

(e)

the annexes referred to in the schedule accompanying the abridged version must be attached to that version.

214.

In order to ensure that it is dealt with as expeditiously as possible, the abridged version must comply with the above directions.

215.

Where the production of an abridged version of the pleading is requested by the Court under Article 151(3) of the Rules of Procedure, the abridged version must be prepared in accordance with the above directions, unless otherwise specified.

A.3.   Defence

216.

If the applicant has not specified in his request for an expedited procedure the pleas in law, arguments or passages of the application initiating the proceedings which are to be taken into consideration only in the event that the case is not decided under the expedited procedure, the defendant must respond to the application initiating the proceedings within a period of one month.

217.

If the applicant has specified in his request for an expedited procedure the pleas in law, arguments or passages of the application initiating the proceedings which are to be taken into consideration only in the event that the case is not decided under the expedited procedure, the defendant must respond, within a period of one month, to the pleas in law and arguments advanced in the application, in the light of the information provided in the request for the expedited procedure.

218.

If the applicant has attached an abridged version of the application initiating proceedings to his request for an expedited procedure, the defendant must respond, within a period of one month, to the pleas in law and arguments contained in that abridged version of the application.

219.

If the Court decides to refuse the request for an expedited procedure before the defendant has lodged his defence, the period of one month for the lodging of the defence prescribed by Article 154(1) of the Rules of Procedure shall be extended by a further month.

220.

If the Court decides to refuse the request for an expedited procedure after the defendant has lodged his defence within the period of one month prescribed by Article 154(1) of the Rules of Procedure, the defendant shall be allowed a further period of one month from the date of service of the decision refusing the request for an expedited procedure, in order to supplement his defence.

A.4.   Oral part of the procedure

221.

Under the expedited procedure, since the written part of the procedure is in principle limited to one exchange of pleadings, the emphasis shall be on the oral part of the procedure and a hearing shall be organised promptly after the written part of the procedure has been closed. The Court may nevertheless decide to rule without an oral part of the procedure where the main parties indicate, within a period prescribed by the President, that they have decided not to participate in a hearing and the Court considers that it has sufficient information available to it from the material in the file in the case.

222.

Where the Court has not authorised the lodging of a statement in intervention, the intervener may submit his observations only orally, if a hearing is organised.

B.   Suspension of operation or enforcement and other interim measures

223.

In accordance with Article 156(5) of the Rules of Procedure, an application for suspension of operation or enforcement or other interim measures must be made by a separate document. It must be intelligible in itself, without necessitating reference to the application lodged in the main proceedings, including the annexes thereto.

224.

In order to facilitate immediate processing by the Registry, the application for suspension of operation or enforcement or other interim measures must state on the first page that it is lodged under Article 156 of the Rules of Procedure and, where appropriate, that it contains an application based on Article 157(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

225.

The application for suspension of operation or enforcement or other interim measures must state, with the utmost concision, the subject matter of the proceedings, the pleas of fact and of law on which the main action is based (establishing a prima facie case on the merits in that action) and the circumstances giving rise to urgency. It must specify the measure(s) applied for. It must also contain all the evidence and offers of evidence available to justify the grant of interim measures.

226.

Since an application for interim measures requires the existence of a prima facie case to be assessed for the purposes of a summary procedure, it need not set out in full the text of the application in the main proceedings.

227.

In order that an application for interim measures may be dealt with urgently, the number of pages it contains must not in principle (depending on the subject matter and the circumstances of the case) exceed a maximum of 25 pages.

IX.   ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THESE PRACTICE RULES

228.

The Instructions to the Registrar of 5 July 2007 (OJ L 232, 4.9.2007, p. 1), as amended on 17 May 2010 (OJ L 170, 6.7.2010, p. 53) and on 24 January 2012 (OJ L 68, 7.3.2012, p. 20), and the Practice Directions to parties before the General Court of 24 January 2012 (OJ L 68, 7.3.2012, p. 23) are hereby repealed and replaced by these Practice Rules.

229.

These Practice Rules shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. They shall enter into force on the first day of the first month following their publication.’

9.

Annex 1 is replaced by the following:

ANNEX 1

Requirements non-compliance with which is grounds for not serving the application (point 101 of these Practice Rules)

Failure to put the following points in order may result in the action being dismissed as inadmissible, in accordance with Article 78(6), Article 177(6) and Article 194(5) of the Rules of Procedure.

 

Direct actions

Intellectual property cases

a)

production of the certificate of the lawyer's authorisation to practise (Article 51(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

production of the certificate of the lawyer's authorisation to practise (Article 51(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

b)

production of recent proof of the existence in law of a legal person governed by private law (Article 78(4) of the Rules of Procedure)

production of recent proof of the existence in law of a legal person governed by private law (Article 177(4) of the Rules of Procedure)

c)

production of authority to act if the party represented is a legal person governed by private law (Article 51(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

production of authority to act if the party represented is a legal person governed by private law (Article 51(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

d)

production of the contested measure (action for annulment) or of the documentary evidence of the date on which the institution was requested to act (action for failure to act) (second paragraph of Article 21 of the Statute; Article 78(1) of the Rules of Procedure)

production of the contested decision of the Board of Appeal (Article 177(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

e)

production of the complaint within the meaning of Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations and the decision responding to the complaint (Article 78(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

 

f)

production of a copy of the contract containing the arbitration clause (Article 78(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

 

g)

 

indication of the names of all the parties to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal and the addresses which they had given for the purposes of notifications (Article 177(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

h)

indication of the dates on which the complaint within the meaning of Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations was submitted and the decision responding to the complaint notified (Article 78(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

indication of the date on which the decision of the Board of Appeal was notified (Article 177(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

10.

Annex 2 is replaced by the following:

ANNEX 2

Procedural rules non-compliance with which justifies delaying service (point 102 of these Practice Rules)

a)

indication of the applicant's permanent address (first paragraph of Article 21 of the Statute; Article 76(a), Article 177(1)(a) and Article 194(1)(a) of the Rules of Procedure)

b)

indication of the address of the applicant's representative (Article 76(b), Article 177(1)(b) and Article 194(1)(b) of the Rules of Procedure)

c)

new original of the application the length of which will have been reduced (points 109 and 110 of these Practice Rules)

d)

new original of the application with identical content but with numbered paragraphs (point 81(c) of these Practice Rules)

e)

new, paginated original of the application with identical content (point 81(d) of these Practice Rules)

f)

production of a schedule of annexes containing the mandatory information (Article 72(3) of the Rules of Procedure; point 83 of these Practice Rules)

g)

production of the annexes mentioned in the application but not produced (Article 72(3) of the Rules of Procedure)

h)

production of paginated annexes (point 86(d) of these Practice Rules)

i)

production of numbered annexes (point 86(a) of these Practice Rules)

11.

Annex 3 is replaced by the following:

ANNEX 3

Procedural rules non-compliance with which does not prevent service (point 103 of these Practice Rules)

a)

production of the certificate of any additional lawyer's authorisation to practise (Article 51(2) of the Rules of Procedure)

b)

in cases other than intellectual property cases, production of the summary of pleas in law and main arguments (points 118 and 119 of these Practice Rules)

c)

production of a translation into the language of the case of material drawn up in a language other than the language of the case (Article 46(2) of the Rules of Procedure; point 99 of these Practice Rules)

Article 2

These amendments to the Practice Rules for the Implementation of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

They shall enter into force on 1 December 2018.

Done at Luxembourg, 17 October 2018.

Registrar

E. COULON

President

M. JAEGER


(1)  OJ L 240, 25.9.2018, p. 68.

(2)  OJ L 240, 25.9.2018, p. 72.

(3)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2016/1192 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on the transfer to the General Court of jurisdiction at first instance in disputes between the European Union and its servants (OJ L 200, 26.7.2016, p. 137).

(4)  OJ L 152, 18.6.2015, p. 1.

(5)  The text must be presented in accordance with the requirements set out in point 81(b) of these Practice Rules.

(6)  The text must be presented in accordance with the requirements set out in point 81(b) of these Practice Rules.


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