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Appointment and Dis-Appointment at the CJEU: Part I – The FV/Simpson Litigation

In: The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
Author:
Kieran Bradley Former Judge of the EU Civil Service Tribunal Luxembourg Luxembourg
Former Special Adviser to the EU Court of Justice on Brexit and General Staff Matters Luxembourg Luxembourg

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Abstract

This first part of a two-part article examines the rulings of the General Court and the Court of Justice concerning the irregular appointment in 2016 of a judge to the Union’s Civil Service Tribunal (now abolished). The CJEU was acting more or less in tandem with the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ástráðsson v. Iceland; between them, these courts have confirmed for their respective legal orders that the right to a fair trial before a “tribunal established by law” includes a requirement that the judge(s) be appointed in accordance with the predetermined procedure. This requirement is not, however, absolute, but seeks ultimately to safeguard the independence and impartiality of the judiciary; it must therefore be balanced with other fundamental values, such as legal certainty and the irremovability of judges. The Simpson ruling may also have a certain resonance at the national level, as well as showcasing the CJEU’s remarkable “review” procedure, now in abeyance.

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