The Court of Justice published yesterday on its website a new section devoted to the documents produced in the context of the Judicial Network, created in 2017. The result is an open and fully public array of valuable legal information for practitioners and researchers working in any field of EU law.
For the first time, the Court of Justice will start publishing the full text of orders for preliminary references as drafted by the national court. This is an excellent development that was long in the waiting. Orders for reference will be included among the relevant documents of the case available on the Court’s search engine, available here.
Also, the website includes a selection of research notes elaborated by EU and national courts. For the time being, only a selection of notes drafted by the Research and Documentation Directorate of the Court of Justice are available, but in the future other research notes from other jurisdictions will be included. Lawyers working outside the Court will now have access to a valuable tool of comparative law and analysis of EU law only available to Court staff until now. The selection is available here.
The research notes are accompanied by a section on Factsheets, following the same approach used by the European Court of Human Rights. For the time being, the reader will find interesting and practical depictions of relevant subjects, such as the scope of application of the Charter, electronic commerce, protection of personal data, or procedural issues such as the urgent preliminary ruling procedure.
And finally, the web intends to publish a selection of relevant national judgments, as selected by the national courts themselves. This selection will be limited to decisions of the highest courts of the Member States. This is also very useful.
The website of the Judicial Network is a positive step forward. It provides a better understanding of how decisions are made (having access to the orders for reference will help understand better many of the Court’s decisions), but also of the relevance of internal research in Europe’s highest courts. To keep that valuable work, produced by highly competent lawyers, exclusive to the knowledge and use of courts only, was a waste of resources that has now been amended for the benefit of all.