23 September 2019Sarah Morgan

EU General Court increases bench, creates specialised IP chambers

The EU General Court has created specialised IP chambers as part of measures accompanying the court’s increase in size.

Last week, on Thursday, September 19, the General Court announced the new chambers. Of the ten new chambers of the General Court, six will deal with IP matters, while four will handle staff cases. Other actions will be allocated among the chambers.

Currently composed of 46 judges, the General Court will welcome seven additional judges later this week, as part of the third and final stage of the reform of the judicial structure of the European Union, which began in 2015.

The organisation of the court has been redesigned as part of the reform, with the number of chambers increasing from nine to ten. Each chamber will be composed of five judges, although this may increase to six judges once all the judges have been appointed.

Additionally, the method for composing the Grand Chamber (which comprises 15 judges) has been changed to enable judges who aren’t presidents of chambers to sit in successive cases.

The court has also decided to deepen the involvement of its president and the vice president in judicial activity.

“For reasons connected with the scope of their responsibilities, it has been confirmed that the president and the vice president will not be judges taking full part in formations of the court. However, it has been decided that the president will, in future, replace a judge who is prevented from acting (currently s/he is replaced by the vice president),” said the court.

The vice president will be called upon to sit in the chambers in extended composition of five judges in one case per chamber per year.

The court said: “With that series of measures, the General Court, assisted by its registry and the common services of the institution, seeks to draw, in the interests of parties to cases, the greatest benefit from the enlargement of its college as decided upon by the legislature. The objective of delivering high-quality decisions within the shortest time possible remains its constant priority.”

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