Friday, 14 January 2011

How shall we abbreviate the Court?

According to the Curia website (here):
"Since the establishment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in 1952, its mission has been to ensure that "the law is observed" "in the interpretation and application" of the Treaties.

As part of that mission, the Court of Justice of the European Union

* reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the European Union,

* ensures that the Member States comply with obligations under the Treaties, and

* interprets European Union law at the request of the national courts and tribunals.

The Court thus constitutes the judicial authority of the European Union and, in cooperation with the courts and tribunals of the Member States, it ensures the uniform application and interpretation of European Union law. 
The Court of Justice of the European Union, which has its seat in Luxembourg, consists of three courts: the Court of Justice, the General Court (created in 1988) and the Civil Service Tribunal (created in 2004). Since their establishment, approximately 15 000 judgments have been delivered by the three courts".
How then should we abbreviate the name of the European Union's top court?  "ECJ" is commonly used, standing for"European Court of Justice", an appellation which is both incorrect and liable to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights, since the latter too purports to dispense justice. "CJEU" (for "Court of Justice of the European Union") is technically a blanket term for the not-the-ECJ and two other tribunals, while "CJ" for "Court of Justice" can be confused with a national court and can also stand for "Chief Justice".

This blog is accordingly running a poll, to let readers express their opinion.  Please use this facility: if a consensus is established it might govern not only the house style of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice but other periodicals and titles in the English language. The poll is located at the top of the jiplp weblog sidebar.

2 comments:

  1. ECJ seems just as good an abbreviation for "Court of Justice" as it was for "Court of Justice of the European Communities", which was its previous name (wasn't it?) so let's just leave it.

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  2. If you say 'ECJ', any judge or lawyer will know what you are talking about. 'CJEU' requires explanation for most, rendering it pointless as an abbreviation.

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