An Interim Post-Mortem

Specialised Courts in the EU Judicial Architecture after the Civil Service Tribunal

in International Organizations Law Review

The EU treaties allow the Union legislature to establish specialised courts within the institution of the Court of Justice. This possibility was inserted by the Treaty of Nice, and by 2005, the Union’s first and only specialised court to date was established—the Civil Service Tribunal (‘CST’). The judicial architecture of the Union has undergone transformative changes in recent years, and as part of the reforms, the CST was abolished in 2016, marking an abrupt end to the Union’s brief use of specialised courts. This article offers an interim post-mortem of specialised courts, examining the Union’s experimentalism with a three-tier judicial institution by focusing on two unique features. Firstly, the role of judges at specialised courts; and secondly, the review procedure that may be undertaken by the Court of Justice. The article contemplates the future of specialised courts, drawing some constitutional lessons that can be learnt from this brief experiment.