The end of the Civil Service Tribunal
The Civil Service Tribunal was dissolved on 1 September 2016. It was composed of seven Judges appointed by the Council for a renewable period of six years. It sat in Chambers of three Judges or, whenever the difficulty or importance of the questions of law warranted it, as a full court. It had jurisdiction to hear and determine at first instance European civil service disputes, which represented around 150 cases a year for a staff of approximately 40 000 individuals in all the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union. The disputes dealt with by the Civil Service Tribunal concerned not only issues relating to employment relations as such (remuneration, career development, recruitment, disciplinary measures, etc.), but also the rules on social security benefits (sickness, retirement, invalidity, accidents at work, family allowances, etc.). It also had jurisdiction over disputes concerning the staff of Eurojust, Europol, the European Central Bank, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European External Action Service. Appeals, limited to points of law, could be brought before the General Court within a period of two months, and decisions delivered by the General Court on appeal could, in turn, be reviewed by the Court of Justice in exceptional circumstances. Over the period of its existence, the Civil Service Tribunal delivered 1549 judgments.
Several Regulations have been adopted to ensure a smooth transition, in particular the transfer of jurisdiction to the General Court by Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2016/1192 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on the transfer to the General Court of jurisdiction at first instance in disputes between the European Union and its servants (OJEU, L 200, 26.7.2016, p. 137).
Moreover, on 15 September 2016, three decisions appointing judges at the General Court were published: Decision (EU, Euratom) 2016/1654 of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 7 September 2016 appointing Judges to the General Court; Decision (EU, Euratom) 2016/1655 of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 7 September 2016 appointing Judges to the General Court; Decision (EU, Euratom) 2016/1657 of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 7 September 2016 appointing a Judge to the General Court). These decisions are part of a wider reform of the General Court, which has been widely debated.
(Altalex, 28 November 2016. Article by Emmanuel Guinchard)