First Judicial Summit of the EFTA Pillar
From 2 to 4 May 2017, the First Judicial Summit of the EFTA Pillar was held. The Supreme Courts of Iceland and Norway, in corpore, Judges from the three highest courts of Liechtenstein – State Court, Supreme Court and Administrative Court –, together with their respective legal secretaries, joined the Judges of the EFTA Court in Luxembourg on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the EEA Agreement in Oporto. The three groups were headed by President Thorgeir Örlygsson of the Supreme Court of Iceland, President Hubertus Schumacher of the Supreme Court of Liechtenstein and Chief Justice Toril Marie Øie of the Supreme Court of Norway.
On 2 May, the delegates from the three EEA/EFTA States first attended a hearing of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and met with a party from the European Union courts led by ECJ President Koen Lenaerts. The summit was opened by a speech of EFTA Court President Carl Baudenbacher on the EFTA Court in its 24th year. Baudenbacher explained that homogeneity is not a one way street and that due to its size, the lack of an advocate general and the absence of a French rucksack, the EFTA Court has developed its own, fact-based, judicial style. Presidents Örlygsson, and Schumacher and Chief Justice Øie presented the Supreme Courts of their countries. Presidents Örlygsson and Schumacher emphasised that the courts in Iceland and in Liechtenstein are positive towards the preliminary reference procedure. Chief Justice Øie pointed to the fact that the Supreme Court of Norway has made three references in the years 2015 and 2016. The presentations were followed by an informal exchange of views on the relations between the EFTA Court and the national Supreme Courts. On 3 May 2017, participants attended the EFTA Court’s oral hearing in Case E-16/16 Fosen-Linjen AS v AtB AS, a request for an Advisory Opinion by the Frostating Court of Appeal following a briefing on the Court’s procedures. Since Judge Páll Hreinsson was unable to participate, he was replaced by ad hoc Judge Benedikt Bogason who, as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Iceland, was a member of the Icelandic delegation. On 4 May 2017, the group was joined by the Judges from the three EEA/EFTA States of the European Court of Human Rights, Erik Møse (Norway), Robert R. Spano (Iceland), and Carlo Ranzoni (Liechtenstein), for a discussion of possible consequences of Brexit. Judge Møse gave a talk on the British criticism levied at the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Per Christiansen spoke about “Brexit and a Multispeed EU” and President Baudenbacher addressed the subjects “Dispute resolution under a new free trade agreement EU-UK” and “Homogeneity after Brexit.”
The First Judicial Summit of the EFTA Pillar provided an excellent opportunity for the exchange of views and experiences between Justices of all three EEA/EFTA States and their colleagues from the courts in Luxembourg and in Strasbourg. It has furthered the judicial dialogue, in both formal and convivial surroundings. The Summit’s success will be repeated in the future.
For the gallery of photographs from the event and the speeches please click here
Press Release 04/17 - Judicial Summit of the EFTA Pillar
From 2 to 4 May 2017, the Supreme Courts of Iceland and of Norway in corpore and Judges from the three highest courts of Liechtenstein – State Court, Supreme Court and Administrative Court – will pay an official visit to the Court. The respective groups will be headed by President Thorgeir Örlygsson from the Supreme Court of Iceland, President Hubertus Schumacher from the Supreme Court of Liechtenstein and Chief Justice Toril Marie Øie from the Supreme Court of Norway. On 4 May 2017, the group will be joined by the Judges from the three EEA/EFTA States of the European Court of Human Rights. The Judges will discuss matters of common interest with a special focus on the two most important principles of EEA law: homogeneity and reciprocity. They will also deal with possible consequences of Brexit for the EEA and with the British criticism levied at the European Court of Human Rights. The visitors will moreover attend oral hearings at the Court and at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Press Release 03/17 - Case E-5/16 - Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights – appeal from the municipality of Oslo
Judgment in Case E-5/16 - Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights – appeal from the municipality of Oslo
Press Release 02/17 - Pre-announcement - Delivery of the Judgment in Case E-5/16 - Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights – appeal from the municipality of Oslo
Judgment in Case E-14/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland
Judgment in Case E-14/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland, delivered in open Court on 31 March 2017.
Judgment in Case E-13/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland
Judgment in Case E-13/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland, delivered in open Court on 31 March 2017.
Lunchtime talk with President Francis Delaporte
On 21 March 2017, Francis Delaporte, President of the Administrative Court and Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Luxembourg, gave a lunchtime talk entitled, “A national perspective on the preliminary reference procedure”. In his absorbing lecture, President Delaporte emphasised the pragmatic approach of the Luxembourg courts with regard to preliminary references to the Court of Justice of the European Union. President Delaporte illustrated this pragmatism by providing the perspectives of a first instance, final instance and constitutional court in an essentially monist jurisdiction. His talk was followed by an illuminating discussion.
e-EFTACourt - fully operational for pending cases as of 10 March 2017
The Registry of the EFTA Court is pleased to announce that as of 10 March 2017, our electronic case handling system, the e-EFTACourt, is fully operational. This is similar to e-Curia, the one used by the EU courts, and it enables secure exchange of case documents from the EFTA Court to external users, and vice versa, and the aim is to suppress the use of paper and surface mail (as well as e-mail).
The prerequisites for access to e-EFTACourt are an Internet connection and a valid e-mail address. To use e-EFTACourt you must have a user account provided by the EFTA Court. This account will enable you to:
• lodge and receive procedural documents electronically;
• consult the history of actions performed;
• organise personal details (e-mail address, password, …);
• register one or more assistants.
The e-EFTACourt is accessible via the Internet at: http://remote.eftacourt.int/e_EFTAcourt
On 9 March 2017 the Decision of the Court on the lodging and service of procedural documents by means of e-EFTACourt was published in the Official Journal (2017/C 73/09). This means that those who have registered and those who will register are able as from 10 March to use e-EFTACourt for pending cases, since the Court from now accepts documents electronically as the original, cfr. RoP Article 32.5 i.f.
To give you an overview of the e-EFTACourt, please refer to the user manual.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the EFTA Court registry.
Judgment in Case E-10/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland
Judgment in Case E-10/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland, delivered in open Court on 1 March 2017.