The paper focuses on the different ways in which a comparative approach can be fruitful in the study of the European Court of Justice.
In particular, it reflects on how comparative law is crucial in studying integration through law in general, the use of the comparative method by the Court in its judicial activity, but also the evolution of the Court itself in institutional terms.
This contribution focuses on the appointment of the Court’s members, its human resources. The system of appointment of the European Court of Justice’s judges, advocate generals and personnel has been for several decades a neglected and even mysterious topic, covered by the traditional and taken-for-granted discretion of the States in the selection of international judges. But the situation, as it is well known, has recently changed with a new procedure established pursuant to Article 255 TFEU introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, with clear implications on the perception of related epistemic communities.
The contribution will discuss the questions arising from the duty of collegiality of the Court and the lack of dissenting opinions—a judicial feature present in several Member states, and to which their lawyers are used—and often invoked for the CJEU in academic commentaries. Particular attention will be given to the peculiar role of the Advocate General in this perspective, as a possible alternative in enhancing transparency of the Court’s deliberation.
The contribution will investigate the modalities and techniques of docket control and the problems of allocation of judicial activity and resources by the CJEU. These problems are essential for the actual work of the Court, often considered “victim of its own success”, especially in terms of an increasing overload of cases; and shape the Court’s relationship with other institutions.
The contribution will deal with the stylistic modalities of the decisions of the CJEU, considering them as the final product, the output, of the structure and organization of the institution, directly influenced by these latter as well as cultural aspects. It will reflect on their consequences for the simplicity of these different national courts to undertake relationships with the CJEU, and, indirectly but very importantly, for the successful, coherent and uniform application of EU law in all the Member States, a matter of classic but increasing concern.