I. Context of the method of citing the case-law
A European Case-Law Identifier (ECLI) has been created as part of an initiative taken by the Council. 1 That identifier is intended to provide an unambiguous reference to both national and European case-law and to define a minimum set of uniform metadata for case-law. It thus facilitates the consultation and citation of case-law in the European Union.
The ECLI is composed of the following four mandatory elements, in addition to the prefix ‘ECLI’:
Following the recommendation of the Council that the Court of Justice of the European Union adopt the European Case-Law Identifier system, the Court has assigned an ECLI to all decisions delivered by the Courts of the European Union since 1954 and to the Opinions and Views of the Advocates General.
For example, the ECLI of the judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 July 2005, Schempp (C‑403/03), is: ‘EU:C:2005:446’. 2
This is broken down as follows:
II. Method of citing the case-law
The method of citing the case-law adopted by the Court of Justice of the European Union combines the ECLI with the usual name of the decision and the case number in the register. It has gradually been brought into use by each EU Court/Tribunal since the first half of 2014, and was harmonised as between the Courts of the European Union in 2016.
Thus, this method of citation:
The constituent elements of the reference are as follows:
1 Council conclusions of 29 April 2011 inviting the introduction of the European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) and a minimum set of uniform metadata for case law (OJ 2011 C 127, p. 1). Further information.
2 In order not to lengthen the reference unnecessarily, the abbreviation ECLI is omitted when citing decisions of the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.