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General Court

Along with the Court of Justice, the General Court is one of the EU’s courts making up the Court of Justice of the European Union. The purpose of these courts 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 General Court is responsible for dealing with:

  • cases lodged by individuals or companies against acts by EU institutions that are addressed to them or that affect them directly and individually, including cases on employment relations between the EU institutions and their staff and actions related to intellectual property rights;
  • actions brought by EU Member States against the European Commission;
  • actions brought by EU Member States against certain acts of the Council;
  • actions seeking compensation for damages caused by EU institutions or bodies.

The number of judges in the General Court is two per EU Member State. The judges are appointed for a renewable term of 6 years by common agreement of the governments of EU Member States. Judges appoint a registrar for a term of 6 years.