Laulhe-Shaelou, Stephanie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3221-5116 and Veraldi, Jacquelyn (2020) REPORT IN THE FORM OF A DISCUSSION PAPER: APPOINTMENT OF ADVOCATE GENERALS AT THE CJEU. Discussion Paper. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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In light of the upcoming opportunity for Cyprus and other Member States to appoint by rotation an Advocate General (‘AG’) to the Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) in 2020-21, the objective of the present report taking the form of a discussion paper is to clarify the law and practice related to such appointments and set out recommendations accordingly. It does so by looking in particular into the relevant provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), namely the Article 253 TFEU requirements themselves, the reports of the Article 255 TFEU Panel, and the selection processes carried out at the national levels.

Article 253 TFEU requires only that such nominees are persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who either meet the requirements for highest national judicial office or who are jurisconsults of recognised competence. An Article 255 TFEU Panel was established with the Treaty of Lisbon and is responsible for advising the Council of the EU on the suitability of candidates appointed to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Panel has elaborated upon the Article 253 TFEU requirements, taking six considerations into account in their assessment: i. legal capabilities; ii. professional experience; iii. ability to perform duties of a judge (or Advocate General); iv. language skills; v. ability to work in a team in an international environment in which several legal systems are represented; and vi. whether their independence, impartiality, probity and integrity are beyond doubt.1 In a 2018 report, the Panel stated that ‘[i]t considers all professional paths in the field of law to be equally legitimate to apply for the office of Judge or [AG]’, ‘in particular, those of judge, university professor, jurisconsult, lawyer or senior official specialised in the field of law.’2 The Panel is further elaborated upon in Part I, including through its latest report published in January 2020.

To further assist in understanding the nature of Advocate General appointments in the EU, a study was undergone into the law and practice at the national level related to ECJ appointments (Part II and the Tables in the Annex), and also into the characteristics of the profiles of the AGs that have been successfully appointed to date (Part III).

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