The Gallery
     
       
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pixelA veritable indoor street, 300 metres long, 8 metres wide and 9.85 metres high, with a glass roof, the Gallery is the architectural solution chosen to open up the three buildings annexed to the original Palais in the 1980s and 1990s and to provide a link between the courts and all the departments.
The Gallery provides a link between the new buildings and the old ones. It also provides access to the two Towers, the Anneau, the courtrooms of the original Palais and the library.

 

 

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The Gallery thus guarantees the smooth operation of the whole complex. As well as a number of facilities (bank, newspaper kiosk, self-service restaurant) it houses the library and the offices of the professional training service.

 

 
       

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The Gallery
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The Gallery

   
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Access to the training rooms

   
Access to the training rooms
       
 

 Access to the training rooms

 

 

 

 

 

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pixelIn addition to the Judges and Advocates General, there are nearly 2000 people working for the Court of Justice. Most of them have the status of officials; the remainder are either members of the temporary staff or contractual staff. Approximately half of the staff work in the language services (interpretation and, preponderantly, translation); a quarter work in the chambers of the Members of the institution; the final quarter are employed in the various other services (registries, library, research and documentation, personnel, finance, information technology, maintenance, press and information, etc.).                             

Professional training plays a key role in the management of these human resources. Not only does it constitute a necessary tool enabling officials and other staff to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties, but it is also taken into account in the context of staff career development.
Language training plays the biggest role, which is unsurprising in an institution in which multilingualism is integral to the language arrangements. Thus, of the 21 000 days devoted by all staff to professional training, more than 4/5ths were spent on language training.  The other major area of training is in office and computer skills for newly recruited staff and for existing staff who need to adapt to the ever-growing use in the Court of new information technologies.

 

 

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To meet this demand for training provision has been made for no fewer than 14 classrooms with a total surface area of more than 560 m2 to hold more than 200 people. These rooms also accommodate staff of the other Community institutions established in Luxembourg, because training is generally organised jointly by all these institutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Access to the library

 

 

 

 

 

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pixelEven in the very first sketches of the architectural project, particular attention was paid to the design of the library of the new Palais with the intention of making the most of the wealth of its collections and documentary tools.
Opening onto the Gallery, over a distance of 70 metres, and occupying its full height, the library now occupies a strategic position at the heart of the Court’s buildings complex, which perfectly reflects its calling. It thus offers access to the resources of its collection, without doubt unique in Europe, both to lawyers working within the institution and to high level outside researchers who are admitted on request.
The reading room, on three levels, is a warm and welcoming space, the very antithesis of the austere ideal too often associated with libraries, but it is also a calm and restful place, conducive to study and research.

 

 

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On level 00, users are welcomed by the team on the helpdesk who provide them with advice and assistance. In the same area users can consult on their own the online catalogue and the other electronic sources of information available. The so-called “reference” collection, containing the works of EU law which are most often requested, is to be found on that level too. Here too, are collections of monographs, full series of EU law periodicals and new acquisitions displayed on ad hoc stands.
What is particularly remarkable is that there is direct access, via rotating stacks, to the current year’s issues of legal reviews and periodicals to which the library subscribes, which come from all the countries of Europe and beyond and which currently number more than 900.

On level 01, the collections of general theory of law, comparative law and international law and part of the collections of the law of the Member States are available for consultation, the other part being available on level 02.
 
       

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Library

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Access to the library     
       
   

There is thus a total of approximately 70 000 volumes stored over more than 3 500 metres of shelves directly accessible to users of the library. However, that is only a part of its great wealth, as 80 000 other volumes, covering literature on the laws of certain non-Member States, complete series of periodicals (official journals of the Member States, court reports) and dictionaries are stored in part of Tower B of the complex, directly accessible via a covered walkway from level 01 of the reading room.

 

 

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To enable users to make the best possible use of this collection, the reading room has 80 comfortable ergonomic workstations over the three floors. The most assiduous users include the staff of the Members of the two Courts of the European Union and the lawyers from the Research and Documentation service, which constitutes the second pillar of the Directorate-General of which the library forms part. Those lawyers are often called upon, in the exercise of their role of assisting judicial activity, to explore themes of EU, international and comparative law to provide material for the process of reflection preceding judicial decisions. The library and Research and Documentation thus have a symbiotic relationship, studies carried out by the latter being conducted chiefly on the basis of material supplied by the former.

The installation of the library in its new premises marks an important stage in its development allowing it to make the optimum use of its wealth of resources by providing it with the space required by the explosion in legal literature, in particular in the field of EU law.