Judge Per Christiansen re-appointed for a second six-year term of office
By decision of 13 January 2017, the Governments of the EFTA States party to the EEA Agreement – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – have re-appointed the Norwegian Judge of the Court, Per Christiansen, for a period of six years with effect from 17 January 2017. At the same time, the Governments have repealed their decision of 1 December 2016 to limit Judge Christiansen’s term of office to three years. On 4 December 2016, seven Norwegian academics had lodged complaints with the EFTA Surveillance Authority against this decision, claiming that it violated the Agreement Between the EFTA States on the Establishment of a Surveillance Authority and a Court of Justice (SCA). Moreover, the Liechtenstein Court of Appeal had on 20 December 2016 referred the question to the EFTA Court whether it would still be lawfully composed after 16 January 2017.
Article 30 SCA states, in relevant part:
“(1)The Judges shall be chosen from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who possess the qualifications required for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their respective countries or who are jurisconsults of recognized competence. They shall be appointed by common accord of the Governments of the EFTA States for a term of six years. (2) Retiring Judges shall be eligible for reappointment.”