Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The Court of Justice of the European Communities is the final adjudicatory body for questions arising under the three Community treaties--the European Economic Community Treaty (EEC), the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (ECSC), and the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty (EUR-ATOM). Since none of the treaties confers upon the Court the power to adjudicate questions involving the domestic laws of Member States, the Court's jurisdiction extends only to interpretation of Community law. Basically, the jurisdiction of the Court can be divided into the following subject areas: actions against Member States, actions against Community institutions, claims for damages against the Community, and "preliminary rulings" on treaty questions referred to the Court by national courts of Member States.

This paper will deal with the first three areas of the Court's jurisdiction under the EEC Treaty, as well as the procedure of the Court. These areas of jurisdiction emphasize Community law as derived from essentially Community institutions. Questions arising under the Court's referral jurisdiction will not be discussed. Recent decisions will be treated in detail under the relevant topic headings.