Advice to counsel appearing before the Court

The task of simultaneous interpreters in the multilingual environment of the Court of Justice of the European Union is to help you to communicate easily and fluently with the Judges and the other participants in the hearing. The interpreters prepare in advance for every hearing by studying the case-file in depth. However, it may be helpful to bear the following points in mind when pleading :

  • Reading out a written text at speed makes simultaneous interpretation into another language particularly difficult. The interpreters will be able to work much more effectively if you speak freely, at a natural and calm pace.
  • If you do decide to read out a written text which you have prepared, please send it if possible in advance to the Interpretation Directorate* by email. This will help the interpreters to prepare for the hearing. It goes without saying that :

your text will be used only by the interpreters and will not be communicated or disclosed to anyone else ;

at the hearing, only what you actually say when addressing the Court will be interpreted.

  • Even handwritten notes with references are helpful. You can always give a copy to the interpreters just before the hearing.
  • Please remember to quote citations, references, figures, names and acronyms clearly and slowly.
  • Before you speak, please remove your earphone, lower the volume, and place it away from the microphone in order to avoid any interference.
  • Turn off your mobile phone / PDA completely.

 For more information please see the Practice directions to parties, available on the Court of Justice's ‘Procedure' page.

*Interpretation Directorate


Fax: +352/4303-3697

Telephone: +352/4303-1