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4.5. Identifier assigned by the Court of Justice of the European Union

European case-law identifier (ECLI)

The European case-law identifier (ECLI) has been developed to facilitate the correct and unequivocal citation of decisions from European and national courts. It was introduced progressively by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has assigned an ECLI to all decisions delivered by the European Union courts since 1954 (judgments, orders, opinions of the Court, decisions (review procedure)), to the opinions and views of the advocates general and to the information about these decisions (summaries and reviews, information on unpublished decisions).

The ECLI is composed of five mandatory elements, in Latin alphanumerical characters only, separated by a colon, as shown below.

The ECLI abbreviation, indicating that it is a European case-law identifier.
The country code corresponding to the Member State of the court or tribunal concerned (see table in Section 7.1.1), or the code ‘EU’ where it is a court of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The code of the court that rendered the decision (for the Court of Justice of the European Union, ‘C’ corresponds to ‘Court of Justice’, ‘T’ corresponds to ‘General Court’ and ‘F’ corresponds to ‘Civil Service Tribunal’).
The Civil Service Tribunal, established in 2004, ceased to operate on 1 September 2016 after its jurisdiction was transferred to the General Court.
The year the decision was rendered, in four digits.
An ordinal number in a format that is decided upon by each Member State or by the Court of Justice of the European Union. This number consists of up to 25 alphanumeric characters. Points are allowed, but not other punctuation marks.
Legal basis

Council conclusions inviting the introduction of the European case-law identifier (ECLI) and a minimum set of uniform metadata for case-law (OJ C 127, 29.4.2011, p. 1).

Useful ECLI links

Court of Justice of the European Union, method of citing the case-law:

European e-Justice Portal:

Rules for case-law citation:
see Section 5.9.3.

Last updated: 1.9.2017
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