Resource Centre > Key Players > European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice is the key judicial body of the EU, with the power to interpret EU law and to declare validity or invalidity of acts of EU institutions. It is composed of 27 judges and 8 Advocates General (the latter give their opinion before the ECJ makes a judgement, although their views do not have to be followed by the Court).

The powers of the Court have been transformed by the Treaty of Nice, and possible further transformations are yet to come: for instance, to ensure effectiveness and consistency of its case law, the Court of Justice will be able to sit in a grand chamber of eleven judges (including the President of the Court of Justice and the Presidents of the five-judge chambers). As a general rule, this structure will hear cases already dealt with by the plenary assembly.

The website of the Court includes numerical access to case law of the European Court of Justice, the European Court of First Instance and the Civil Service Tribunal. It also includes a site with references to the Member States’ institutional and legal sites (key institutions: parliaments, governments, courts).