The meeting will be held in Lecture Room VII in Brasenose College. Sandwiches and coffee will be available from 12.30.

The latest reform of the European Court of Justice aims to achieve a double objective: to streamline the European judicial institution to enable it to carry out better its 21st century tasks, and to avoid the necessity to make further institutional changes in the near future. The particular long drawn-out legislative procedure which led to the reform is worth reflecting upon, both from a procedural and a substantive point of view. The different discussions conducted on the reform between the ECJ and the Member States/Council and different contacts with members of the European Parliament, but also internally between the different parts of the Court, raised a number of novel and interesting questions, some of which have still not been answered. Moreover, the content of the reform changed dramatically during the negotiation, culminating with the proposal to double the number of judges of the General Court and to abolish the first and only specialized Court of the European judicial system, the Civil Service Tribunal. The experience of the reform shows that it is still impossible in practice for Member States to accept a composition other than one (or two) judge(s) per Member State, despite an existing legal basis in the Treaties allowing a more flexible composition for the General Court. The consequences of the unprecedented reform for the ECJ itself, in its relations with the other EU institutions and the Member States must therefore be addressed. In addition, the impact of the abolition of the Civil Service Tribunal requires careful consideration, in the perspective of any possible future initiative to create a specialized EU court. Finally, the changes brought about by the doubling of the number of judges of the General Court also require attention, not only as regards its functioning but also that of the architecture if the Union judicature and the relationship between its parts.

Judge Kieran Bradley is President of Chamber at the EU Civil Service Tribunal, Luxembourg. He was previously a member, and latterly Director for Administrative and Financial Law of the Legal Service, of the European Parliament. In 2003-2004, he was a member of both groups of legal experts who advised first the Convention, then the Intergovernmental Conference, on the drafting of the Constitution for Europe. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University.

Dr Imola Streho is Associate Professor at the Law School and Associate Researcher at the Centre d’études européennes at Sciences Po, Paris, where she is the Director of the Master in European Affairs. Before joining Sciences Po, from 2002 to 2008, she was part of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. She holds a PhD from the University of Paris and LLM from the College of Europe.

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