The European Court of Justice

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The European Court of Justice is the main governing body for the EU and enforcer of the laws over all of its member states. The functions of the European Court of Justice is to enforce Community law, to tackle disputes between member states and the European council and between the member states themselves, and also to protect the rights of all European individuals. The court consists of three courts, Court of Justice of the EU, General court and the EU civil service tribunal which are all located in Luxembourg. The Court of Justice and the General court both consist of 28 judges one from each member state, with usually three to five judges sit and hear cases. Judges must be independent from their own state believes and must make decisions based on what is best for the European Community as a whole. The judges appoint a President whose job is to oversee the direction of the court by assigning cases and appointing judge-rapporteurs. The Presidency has a renewable term of six years. The judges are assisted by eight Advocate Generals who must be as qualified as the judges. The advocates prepare the cases which they are going to hear. All ruling by the court are binding on all member states. It is said that the European Court makes the law and there is no right to appeal in the cases they hand down decisions on. The Court of First Instance was set up in 1989 to take some of the work load off the Court of Justice, but was limited to cases between the EC and its staff,

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