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European Union Law: EU Case Law

An introductory guide to the law of the European Union

Citations to EU Case Law

Bluebook Rule 21.5.2

Citations to cases adjudicated by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) or the General Court should include:

  1. The case number;
  2. The names of the parties; and
  3. A citation to the official reporter, including the year of decision.

A parallel citation to a commercial reporter, such as the Common Market Law Reports, also may be included.

Note that for cases decided by the ECJ since 1989, the case number will include the prefix "C".  Older cases will not have a prefix.  Cases decided by the General Court, which was crated in 1989, will include the prefix "T".

Examples:

T-198/98, Micro Leader Bus. v. Comm'n, 1999 E.C.R. II-3989.

C-213/89, The Queen v. Sec'y of State for Transp. ex parte Factortame Ltd., 1990 E.C.R. I-2433.

58/69, Elz v. Comm'n, 16 E.C.R. 507 (1970).

Finding EU Case Law

Free Online Resources

Curia, the official website of the EU court system, maintains a database of all reported decisions dating back to 1954.  The basic search option allows users to retrieve cases by party name, docket number, and date.  It also provides quick links to recent decisions.  For full-text searching by subject, use the advanced search option.

Curia also provides access to an online Digest of EU Case Law and and an alphabetical Table of Subject Headings under which reported cases are indexed.  Note, however, that the content of these resources is currently available only in French.

EUR-Lex, the EU's legal database, provides free online access to reported decisions from 2002 onward.  Note that the case law portion of the database can only be searched by date and docket number.

Subscription Online Resources  Password required.  UIUC provides access only to College of Law faculty, students, and staff.

LexisNexis  Select the file name ECJ within the European Union library to search for all European Court of Justice cases from 1954 (including advisory Advocate-General opinions) and all General Court cases from 1989.  Additional options are available for limiting search results to competition law (antitrust) cases.

Westlaw  To search all ECJ cases from 1954 (including advisory Advocate-General opinions) and all General Court cases from 1989, select the EU-CS database.  Additional databases are available to limit search results to particular types of EU cases or to broaden search results to include cases from the national courts of the Member State, particularly the UK.

Case Reporters

Beginning in 2012, cases adjudicated in the EU court system are published online only. These cases cannot be cited to the print reports because the official print reporter ceased publication in 2011. For cases 2012 to present, cite to the Court's website, http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/T5_5123/, which contains cases 1954-current. 

Reports of Cases Before the Court of Justice and the General Court, usually referred to by its shorthand title, European Court Reports (ECR), until 2011, was the official reporter for cases adjudicated in the EU court system. The Law Library's collection includes the full print run of the ECR (and its predecessor publications) from the late 1950s to 2011, when it ceased publication.  Call No. KJE924.8 .C685.

Common Market Law Reports (CMLR) is a commercial counterpart to the ECR.  The Law Library's collection includes the full print run of the CMLR from 1962 to date.  Call No. KJE923.7 .65.

CMLR Antitrust Reports focuses exclusively on cases involving EU competition law, a subject of particular interest to non-Europeans.  The Law Library's collection includes the full print run of CMLR Antitrust Reports to date.  Call No. KJE923.7 .C6522. 

CCH's European Community Cases publishes the full text of cases that have been decided by the European Court of Justice and by the General Court since 1989.  Coverage is selective.  Call No. KJE925 .E893.

Digest

European Current Law (formerly the European Law Digest) publishes a monthly index with citations and brief summaries of both EU court decisions and national court decisions of the Member States from 1992 onward.  Coverage is selective.  Call No. KJE923.6 E97222.

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