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Environmental judgments by the Court of Justice and their duration

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

This article discusses some data concerning the environmental jurisdiction of the EC Court of Justice during 2006 and 2007, and compares them with previous years. During this time, the Court—including the Court of First Instance—issued about one decision per week. The majority of cases concerned nature conservation issues, followed by waste and air-climate change matters. About two thirds of all cases were submitted to the Court by the European Commission. Preliminary cases (Article 234 EC Treaty) took, on average, a time of 19 months, cases under Article 230 21 months, and cases under Article 226 EC Treaty 18 months. However, if one includes in the cases under Article 226 the compulsory pre-judicial period, the average duration of procedures was 47 months, thus almost four years. A closer analysis of the data reveals that this long duration is mainly attributable to the EC Commission.


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