Court's Admissibility Criteria for Litigants in Person

The request was successful.

Dear European Court of Justice,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

1. I would like to get the policies and procedures about cases filed by litigants in person? What are the policies related to Litigants in Person who are capable to elaborate their case within the legal framework?

2. What is the registration procedure by Litigants in person?

3. where Litigants in person have been deprived of legal assistance by the state UK, what is your policy in this regard if they want to bring their cases to the ECJ?

4. when an applicant submits cases to ECJ by himself as he did not receive any legal assistance or representative solicitor as have been refused by the UK, what is the remedy provided by ECJ?

5. If the applicant request the matter to be referred to ECJ by domestic court and it refuse, what is the policy in this regard?

A summary of the occurrences:

- We had cases in the UK domestic courts, and the state prevented us access to legal assistance by imposing restrictions which violate basic access to legal assistance. In such circumstances, what is the court's duties and policies in this respect?

Legal representatives were threatened by UK Judiciary and other high authorities. Many strategies were used such as fraudulent activities, false statements, corruption, involvement of media, defamatory articles, and high level of cover ups which have directly impacted with the conventional obligations of the UK. The State failed to observe its duties to protect fundamental rights. Even our cases went to Supreme Court, but unfortunately, none of the State's failures were examined. We were not given no legal access and neither legal representation or aid to represent ourselves in the CJEU. The Domestic courts also threatened us to withdraw complaints to EU. in that circumstances we did approach CJEU but received the following reply which is unclear:

"Private persons may bring proceedings against an institution of the European Union only before the General Court and not before the Court of Justice. In such proceedings representation by a lawyer entitled to practise in a Member State is compulsory".

6. What is the court's discrimination policy in relation to self-represented litigants?

7. To date, how many cases have been registered by self-represented litigants?

Yours faithfully,

Afham Ismail

Hollis Nikki, Court of Justice of the European Union

Dear Mr Afham,

Further to your email received recently in the Press and Information Unit of the Court of Justice. Before dealing with your request I would like to point out that Regulation 1049/2001 does not apply to the Court of Justice. The Court of Justice has its own decision, available on its website (http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_92908/) which regulates access to documents held by the Court in the exercise of its administrative functions.

In response to your request I can inform you that the Court of Justice cannot accept any cases brought directly by individuals, its jurisdiction being limited to interinstitutional cases (e.g. Commission v European Parliament), infringement cases brought by the Commission or a Member State against a Member State, appeals against decisions of the General Court and references for a Preliminary Ruling from national courts. A further explanation about the competences of this court can be found on our website at: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/Jo2_702....

Just to clarify further, the Court of Justice is not competent to take cases from individuals directed against State authorities, or other individuals, even where that case concerns an alleged breach of EU law. In such a situation the national courts are competent to hear the case and to apply EU law. During a case before a national Court, if a question of EU law arises, that court may then in turn refer questions to the Court of Justice as to how EU law is to be interpreted and whether the national law infringes EU law. At this point the parties concerned would have an opportunity, through their lawyers, to make their opinions known to the Court of Justice. The Court of Justice would then answer these questions and inform the national court of the correct interpretation of the law. The national court would then continue the case applying the correct law to the facts before it.

The General Court, the second highest EU Court, has jurisdiction to hear cases brought by individuals but only in clearly defined circumstances, notably where that person is seeking the annulment of a decision of an EU institution, such as the European Commission, Parliament or Council, which directly affects their legal situation. Actions for damages may also be brought for harm caused by the same institutions. Further information about the jurisdiction of the General Court can be found at http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/Jo2_703....

Moreover, I would draw your attention to Article 19 of the Statute of the Court which states that all parties must be represented by a lawyer authorised to plead before the Courts of a Member State, and Article 43 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court which emphasises that all applications to the Court must be signed by a lawyer.

Finally, the Commission is the body which controls that the member states comply with EU-law. If the Courts of a member State do not refer questions to the ECJ when they, according to the treaty, are obliged to, it is up to the Commission to take action.

Yours sincerely,

Nikki Hollis
English Section
Press and Information Unit
Court of Justice of the European Union
Tel: +352 4303 3366
Follow us on Twitter: @EUCourtPress

show quoted sections