The Civil Service Tribunal is composed of seven Judges appointed
by the Council for a period of 6 years which may be renewed,
following a call for applications and after taking the opinion of
a committee established for that purpose. Those Judges may
be supplemented by temporary Judges, who are called upon to
stand in for member Judges who are prevented on a long-term
basis from participating in the settlement of disputes.
When appointing the Judges on the proposal of the committee,
the Council ensures a balanced composition of the Civil Service
Tribunal on as broad a geographical basis and as broad a representation
of the national legal systems as possible.
The Judges of the Civil Service Tribunal elect their President from among
their number for a term of 3 years which may be renewed.
The Civil Service Tribunal sits in Chambers of three Judges. However, whenever
the difficulty or importance of the questions of law raised justifies it,
a case may be referred to the full court. Furthermore, in certain cases determined
by its Rules of Procedure, the Civil Service Tribunal may sit in a
Chamber of five Judges or as a single Judge.
The Judges appoint a Registrar for a term of 6 years.
The Civil Service Tribunal has its own Registry, but makes use of the services
of the Court of Justice for its other administrative and linguistic needs.
Within the judicial institution of the European Union, it is the Civil Service Tribunal whose special field is the sphere of disputes involving the European Union civil service, this jurisdiction having previously been exercised by the Court of Justice and then, following its creation in 1989, by the Court of First Instance (now the General Court).
It has jurisdiction to hear and determine at first instance disputes between the European Union and its servants pursuant to Article 270 TFEU, which as a result represents some 150 cases a year for approximately 40 000 members of staff of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union. These disputes concern
not only questions to do with working relations in the strict sense (pay, career progress, recruitment, disciplinary measures, etc.), but also the social security system (sickness, old age, invalidity, accidents at work, family allowances, etc.).
It also has jurisdiction in cases concerning certain specific employees, in
particular, those of Eurojust, Europol, the European Central Bank, the Office
for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European External
Action Service. On the other hand, it may not hear and determine
cases between national administrations and their employees. The decisions
given by the Civil Service Tribunal may, within 2 months, be subject
to an appeal, limited to questions of law, to the General Court. The decisions
on appeal by the General Court may in turn be re-examined before
the Court of Justice, in exceptional circumstances.
The procedure before the Civil Service Tribunal is governed by provisions
of the Statute of the Court of Justice, in particular those contained in
Annex I thereto, by its Rules of Procedure and by related texts (all the texts
are to be found at http://www.curia.europa.eu).
As a rule, the proceedings include a written phase and an oral
The written phase
An application, drawn up by a lawyer and sent to the Registry,
opens the proceedings. That document may be lodged by electronic
means using the e-Curia application. The Registrar sends
the application to the opposing party. The latter has a period of
2 months to file a defence.
The Civil Service Tribunal may decide that a second exchange of
written pleadings is necessary.
Any person who can prove an interest in the outcome of a case
before the Civil Service Tribunal, as well as the institutions, bodies,
offices and agencies of the European Union and the Member
States, may intervene in the proceedings. The intervener files a
statement in intervention, supporting or opposing the form of
order sought by one of the parties, to which the latter may then
respond. The intervener may also submit observations at the oral
The oral phase
During the oral phase a public hearing is usually held. During the hearing,
the Judges can put questions to the parties’ representatives and, where
appropriate, to the parties themselves. The Judge-Rapporteur draws up
a preparatory report for the hearing, containing the essential elements of
the case and indicating the points on which the parties are to focus their
oral arguments. This document is available to the public in the language
of the case.
The Judges deliberate on the basis of draft grounds prepared by the
Judge-Rapporteur. The judgment is delivered at a public hearing.
The procedure before the Civil Service Tribunal is free of court
fees. On the other hand, the costs of the lawyer entitled to appear
before a court in a Member State, by whom the parties must be
represented, are not paid by the Civil Service Tribunal. A party
who is not able to meet the costs of the case may, however, apply
for legal aid.
Amicable settlement of disputes
At all stages of the procedure, including the time when the application
is filed, the Civil Service Tribunal may try to facilitate an amicable
settlement of the dispute.
Proceedings for interim measures
Bringing an action before the Civil Service Tribunal does not cause the operation
of the contested act to be suspended. The Tribunal may, however,
order suspension of the act or other interim measures. The President of the
Civil Service Tribunal or, in some circumstances, another Judge rules on the
application for interim measures by way of reasoned order.
Interim measures are granted only if three conditions are met:
1. the substance of the main proceedings must appear, at first sight, to
be well founded;
2. the applicant must establish the urgency of the measures in the absence
of which he would suffer serious and irreparable harm;
3. the interim measures must take account of the weighing up of the
parties’ interests and the public interest.
The order is provisional in nature and in no way prejudges the decision of
the Civil Service Tribunal in the main proceedings. In addition, an appeal
against it may be brought before the President of the General Court.
The language used for the application, which may be one of the 24 official
languages of the European Union, will be the language of the case.
The proceedings in the oral phase of the procedure are simultaneously
interpreted, as necessary, into various official languages of the European
Union. The Judges deliberate without interpreters in a common language,
Flowchart of procedure
Procedure before the Civil Service Tribunal
At all stages of the procedure the
Civil Service Tribunal may try to
seek an amicable settlement of the
dispute between the parties.
Service of the application on the defendant by the Registry
Notice of the action in the Official Journal of the European Union (Series C)
((Publication of the subject matter of the
application and the forms of order sought,
available in all languages approximately
6 weeks from the day on which
the action is brought before
the Civil Service Tribunal)*
[objection of inadmissibility]
[Reply and rejoinder]
The Judge-Rapporteur prepares the preliminary report
[Measures of inquiry]
[Application for legal aid]
Assignment of the
case to a Chamber and
designation of the Judge-
Preparatory report for the hearing
(Document drawn up by the Judge-Rapporteur containing the essential elements
of the case and indicating, where appropriate, the points on which the parties
are to focus their oral arguments) (**)
Judgment* or order* (in the case of an order, there is never an oral phase)
The optional stages of the procedure are shown in square brackets.
(*) These documents are available on the Court’s website: http://www.curia.europa.eu
(**) These documents are to be found on display racks by the courtroom or may be obtained from the Press
and Information Unit of the Court of Justice of the European Union, on request.
Other documents are not public.