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Publications of the Court of Justice of the European Union:
EU:C:2005:446

Publications other than those of the Court of Justice of the European Union:
ECLI:EU:C:2005:446

5.9.3. References to cases before the Court of Justice and the General Court

Publications of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Digital reports of cases

The Court of Justice of the European Union has adopted a method of citing case-law that combines the ECLI (without the acronym ‘ECLI’ itself) with the usual name of the decision and the case’s number in the register. It is applicable to all case-law since 1954. It has gradually been brought into use by each EU Court/Tribunal since the first half of 2014, and was harmonised between the Courts of the European Union in 2016:

judgment of 12 July 2005, Schempp, C-403/03, EU:C:2005:446, paragraph 19

If the decision has not been published in full in the Reports, the formula ‘not published’ is used:

judgment of 6 June 2007, Walderdorff v Commission, T-442/04, not published, EU:T:2007:161
For more information

See the website of the Court of justice of the European Union: Curia (https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_125997/en)

European case-law identifier (ECLI)

See Section 4.5.

Reports of cases on paper

Cases were published on paper either in the Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the General Court (until 2011), or in the European Court Reports – Reports of European Community Staff Cases (until 2009).

The Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal used a short internal form in their own publications, particularly in the European Court Reports.

The presentation in English was not the same as in all other language versions. In European Court Reports:

Case 52/84 Commission v Belgium [1986] ECR 89, paragraph 12
Case T-45/90 Speybrouck v Parliament [1992] ECR II-33, paragraph 2
Case T-3/92 Latham v Commission [1994] ECR-SC I-A-23 and II-83, paragraph 2

If a case was unpublished, it was listed in a special section of the European Court Reports and referenced as follows:

judgment of 31 January 2008 in Case C-147/07 CommissionFrance, paragraph 2
NB:
Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the ‘Court of Justice of the European Communities’ became the ‘Court of Justice of the European Union’ and the ‘Court of First Instance’ became the ‘General Court’.

Publications other than those of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Case-law may also be cited in publications that are not produced by the Court of Justice of the European Union: general publications, legal acts published in the Official Journal (in particular Commission decisions relating to State aid or mergers, etc.).

As such publications are aimed at a non-specialist public, the citation method contains extra information.

NB:
The communications of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Official Journal have to follow the citation rules of the Court of Justice.

As of 1 January 2015, the method for referencing case-law gives a certain amount of leeway to the author of the body text, but standardises the footnote citing the ECLI.

Body text

The case-law reference must include at least:

the decision type (judgment, order, etc.),
the name of the court.

If they are useful in the context, the following elements may be added:

the usual name of the case,
the date of the decision.
Footnote

The standardised format always contains the following elements, in the order shown below:

the decision type (judgment, order, etc.),
the name of the court,
the date of the decision,
the usual name of the case,
the number of the case,
the ECLI of the decision,
if necessary, any particularly pertinent paragraph(s).

Regulation (EC) No 304/2003 was annulled by the Court of Justice (1) …

(1)
Judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 January 2006, Commission v Parliament and Council, C-178/03, ECLI:EU:C:2006:4, paragraphs 60 to 65.

In its judgment of 10 January 2006 in Case Commission v Parliament and Council (1), the Court of Justice annulled Regulation (EC) No 304/2003 …

(1)
Judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 January 2006, Commission v Parliament and Council, C-178/03, ECLI:EU:C:2006:4, paragraph 60.

If the same decision is mentioned several times in the document, it is best to decide, on its first occurrence, how it should be referred to thereafter:

Regulation (EC) No 304/2003 was annulled by the Court of Justice (1) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Commission v Parliament and Council judgment’) …
In its judgment of 10 January 2006 in Case Commission v Parliament and Council (1) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘judgment of 10 January 2006’), the Court of Justice annulled Regulation (EC) No 304/2003 …
Regulation (EC) No 304/2003 was annulled by the Court of Justice (1) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘judgment in Case C-178/03’) …

This citation method also applies both to references to decisions of the Court of Justice that have been published on paper in the ECR and to those that, more recently, have only been published in digital format.

Summary table

Citation mode in publications other than those of the Court of Justice (in 24 language versions).

Where to find the ECLI

For a quick search for the ECLI of any decision, type the case number in the search form of:

the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (field ‘Case number’) (https://curia.europa.eu/juris/recherche.jsf?language=en),
the EUR-Lex website (field ‘Text search’) (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/advanced-search-form.html?locale=en).
Where to find the usual name of the case

The usual name of the case is given by the Court of Justice.
To find it, refer to the lists that can be found on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘Numerical access’ page) (https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/Jo2_7045/en). These lists are only available in English and French.

Before 1 January 2015

In publications other than those of the Court of Justice, for references to case-law, the date of the decision and the year of the court report were included to facilitate bibliographic research for the reader, who would not necessarily be aware of the link between the year of publication and the year of the decision.

Before 15 November 1989:
judgment of 15 January 1986 in Case 52/84 Commission v Belgium (ECR 1986, p. 89, paragraph 12)
After 15 November 1989 (reports of cases before the Court of Justice and the General Court, published separately):
judgment of 30 January 1992 in Case C-328/90 Commission v Greece (ECR 1992, p. I-425, paragraph 2)
judgment of 28 January 1992 in Case T-45/90 Speybrouck v Parliament (ECR 1992, p. II-33, paragraph 2)
From 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2005 (staff cases only):
judgment of 9 February 1994 in Case T-3/92 Latham v Commission (ECR-SC 1994, p. I-A-23 and II-83, paragraph 2)
From 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2014 (staff cases before the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal):
judgment of 9 November 2006 in Case C-344/05 P Commission v De Bry (ECR-SC 2006, p. I-B-2-19 and II-B-2-127)
judgment of 8 June 2006 in Case T-156/03 Pérez-Díaz v Commission (ECR-SC 2006, p. I-A-2-135 and II-A-2-649)
judgment of 26 October 2006 in Case F-1/05 Landgren v ETF (ECR-SC 2006, p. I-A-1-123 and II-A-1-459)
Last updated: 29.8.2019
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