Interesting report on CJEU case handling by the EU Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors has published today a report on the handling of cases by the Court of Justice of the European Union (see report here and press release from the Court of Justice here). The report is interesting in many respects.

In terms of CJEU activity linked to EU economic law, I find it interesting that, in the sample taken for the report, competition and procurement cases requiring a preliminary ruling tended to take between 2 years and 2 years and a half. This likely places them towards the top right corner of the complexity/duration chart created by the Court of Auditors (below).

In not too dissimilar a fashion, it is also interesting to stress that the lengthier cases before the General Court involve competition and State aid issues.

Taken together, these seem to be signs of the need for the creation of a specialised chamber for economic law to absorb part of the workload and try to deliver judgments within a timeline better adjusted to the needs of market dynamics.

In that connection, it is worth stressing that the Court of Auditors reminds us that:

By 26 December 2020, the Court of Justice must report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the functioning of the General Court, covering its efficiency, the necessity and effectiveness of the increase to 56 Judges, the use and effectiveness of resources and the further establishment of specialised chambers and/or other structural changes (see Article 3(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2015/2422).

In my view, that will be an adequate moment to propose the delegation of preliminary rulings to the General Court in matters of EU economic law and the creation of a specialised court.