The EFTA Court is a supranational Court of Justice and has as well as the European Court of Justice (ECJ ) is domiciled in Luxembourg. It was founded on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).
Legal basis for the decisions of the EFTA Court, the provisions of
- EEA Agreement, all relevant case and agreed protocols and amendments
And, as far as TEC or ECSC provisions are identical to the EEA rules in substance, the
- Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EC Treaty now TFEU ) and the
- Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community ( ECSC ).
These legal bases are to be interpreted in the implementation and application by the EFTA Court in accordance with the relevant decisions adopted by the Court of Justice of the European Communities before the date of signature of this Agreement (May 2, 1992) (Article 6 of the EEA Agreement ).
Homogeneity of legal interpretation
Through the existence of two supranational courts ( EFTA Court and the ECJ ), both of which are appointed under the European internal market jurisprudence, the avoidance of divergence in the case law of these courts is a special challenge
To avoid such Judikaturdivergenzen between the ECJ and the EFTA Court constant information of the EEA Joint Committee was provided to enable the development of case law homogeneous runs (Art. 105 para 1 of the EEA Agreement ).
According to Article 105, paragraph 2 of the EEA Agreement are constantly pursuing the EEA Joint Committee " the development of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities and in Article 108, paragraph 2 of the (EEA Agreement ) referred to the EFTA Court. To this end, the judgments of these Courts shall be transmitted to the EEA Joint Committee; this is dedicated to ensuring that the homogeneous interpretation of the Agreement is maintained. "
" Will not succeed to the EEA Joint Committee, within two months of being a deviation in the case law of the two Courts was presented to preserve the homogeneous interpretation of the Agreement, the procedures of Article 111 may apply " (Article 105 para 3 of the EEA Agreement ).
The fact that both courts are not bound by instructions and independently, a direct influence is not possible and the above- described way has to be taken. Through the mutual exchange of information on
- Judgments of the EFTA Court,
- Of Justice of the European Communities and
- The Court of First Instance of the European Communities and the
- Courts of last resort of the EFTA States
Through the EEA Joint Committee the uniform interpretation of the EEA Agreement, in full deference to the independence of the courts is to be further secured (Article 106, paragraph 1 of the EEA Agreement ).
The EFTA States may also, also a national court or tribunal " to request the Court of Justice to rule on the interpretation of an EEA rule " (Article 107 of the EEA Agreement ).
The EFTA Court is currently composed of three judges together, each one from the EFTA States that are parties to the EEA (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland ).
Since 2003, Carl Baudenbacher ( for Liechtenstein in the EFTA Court Council) President of the EFTA Court.
The term of office of a judge is six years. The task of the EFTA Court is the interpretation of the EEA Agreement, the EFTA States. It is thus the counterpart to the European Court of Justice, which is responsible for this on the EU side. In the last 15 years, he has over 100 decisions made.