Structural and organizational reforms within the General Court of the European Union: the creation of specialized Chambers

Since 2015, different measures have been put in place to make the General Court of the European Union more efficient. These now include the creation of specialized Chambers, one of which will deal with intellectual property matters.

On September 19, 2019, it was announced that the General Court of the European Union (GC) would welcome seven additional Judges. Following this increase in size, several measures have been adopted to streamline the work of the GC in terms of both organization and composition. One of these (long-awaited) measures concerns the creation of specialized divisions: in particular, six out of ten Chambers will now deal with intellectual property matters. Although the system for allocating cases is still on a rotational basis, it will be adapted to take into account the different specializations of the Chambers.

These changes are not unexpected, but stem from the legal framework set up to reform the structure of the judicial bodies of the European Union. In particular, Regulation no. 2015/2422 of the European Parliament and the Council[1] was meant to address the progressive increase in the number of cases before the GC, their complexity and the consequent slowdown of the proceedings, as they created a situation that did not appear to be acceptable from the point of view of litigants. In this context, Recital (4) of Regulation no. 2015/2422 drew attention to the fact that the option of setting up specialized courts, as provided for in Article 257 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), had not yet been taken up.

[1] Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2015/2422 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 amending Protocol No 3 on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, available here (lastly accessed on September 26, 2019).

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