As you know from the section about the European Commission, the main function of the ECJ is to ensure that ‘in the interpretation and application of the Treaties, the law is observed’ (Corbett, Peterson & Bomberg, 2012, p. 65). The ECJs jurisdiction is:
Substantial: it may hear and solve disputes of cases on any aspect of EU law as long as the Treaty does not provide an exception.
Procedural (forms of action before the Court):
- Enforcement proceedings – infringement proceedings initiated by the European Commission when a Member State does not comply with the European law. We studied this procedure before.
- Action for judicial review – the ECJ reviews whether EU legislative institutions comply with the Treaties and general principles of EU law while making the legislation.
- Preliminary ruling procedure – ensuring uniform interpretation and application of EU law across all 27 Member States.
Appellate: the ECJ is a court of appeal against lower courts in the hierarchy
(Shuibhne, 2012, p.152-157).