New figures show that the number of cases brought before the EU’s two courts last year fell by 17% to 1,582, mainly due to impact of pandemic restrictions.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said, however, that it managed to maintain a high level of activity, despite restrictions that made it impossible to hold hearings between 16 March and 25 May.
In 2020, 40 hearings were held with videoconferencing before the CJEU, the higher court, and 37 before the General Court, some of which involved up to four parties participating remotely.
The system, which enables simultaneous interpretation potentially from and into the EU’s 24 official languages, is still being used this year
Proceedings take less time
Although well down compared with 2019, the number of cases before the EU courts was little changed from the figures recorded in 2017 and 2018.
The number of completed cases in 2020 was down by 11% compared with 2019, to 1,540.
The CJEU also said the average length of proceedings before the two courts in 2020 fell to an historic low of 15.4 months.
The figures show that requests for preliminary rulings accounted for more than three-quarters of new cases brought before the CJEU.
In the General Court, one-third of the 847 new cases brought last year were linked to intellectual property.