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EU Approves Transfer of Case Types From Court of Justice to General Court

The Council of the EU on March 19 approved reform efforts for the EU Court of Justice, transferring jurisdiction of various issues to the EU General Court. The council must now approve amendments to both courts' rules of procedure before the changes take effect.

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After the changes, the General Court will have jurisdiction over issues involving value added tax, excise duties, the customs code, the "tariff classification of goods under the combined nomenclature" and more. The Court of Justice will continue to oversee ruling requests that "raise questions of principle, such as interpretation of the Treaties or the Charter of Fundamental Rights." The council said it's also extending the "current filtering mechanism" for appeals against General Court decisions when those decisions concern a "Union body, office or agency with an independent board of appeal."

Requests for preliminary rulings also will be more transparent, the council said, because "written observations from an interested party" will be made public "within a reasonable time after the closing of the proceedings, unless that person raises objections."