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Under Article 256 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Court of Justice may hear appeals of decisions given by the General Court, and the General Court may hear appeals of decisions given by a specialised court (such as, in the past, the Civil Service Tribunal).

Appeals on points of law only may be brought before the Court of Justice against judgments and orders of the General Court. If the appeal is admissible and well founded, the Court of Justice may set aside the judgment of the General Court.

Where the state of the proceedings so permits, the Court of Justice may itself decide the case. Otherwise, it refers the case back to the General Court, which is bound by the decision given by the Court of Justice on the appeal.

Under Article 56 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, rulings made by the General Court, limited to points of law, may, within 2 months, be subject to an appeal to the Court of Justice. Such an appeal may be brought by any party which has been unsuccessful, in whole or in part, in its submissions. However, interveners other than the EU Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions may bring such an appeal only where the decision of the General Court directly affects them.

Article 167 of the rules of procedure of the Court of Justice lays down the procedure to be followed to launch an appeal and Article 168 specifies the information that an appeal should contain.