Bringing a case to court - General Information
How are cases brought to court?
If you wish to bring a case to court, you should bear in mind that there are certain national procedural rules to be followed. These vary depending on the way in which a case is referred to court, but their essential purpose is to help you to present the relevant matters of fact and law in a sufficiently clear and complete manner to allow the court to assess the admissibility and the merits of your case.
The ways in which a case is referred to court vary from one Member State to another. There are also variations within a Member State depending on the nature and circumstances of the application and the type of court. Referral to some courts for particular types of cases may require you to fill in a form or to assemble a whole file on the case. In some cases, it can be done orally. These variations are explained by the fact that the disputes brought before the courts are also very diverse: by their nature they may be more or less difficult to resolve. It is very important to ensure that nothing is missing, to facilitate the work of the judge, allow the other party to defend themselves properly and ensure that the whole procedure goes smoothly.
By clicking on the flags of the Member States, you can obtain information on the system of referral to national courts. The information on the legislation of Member States deals only with referral to courts of first instance. It does not cover bringing cases to the court of appeal or the supreme court.
The European Union wishes to set up a genuine area of justice, as defined by the European Council. Access to justice plays a major role in this action programme. The goal is that it should be possible for European citizens to bring a case before the courts in another Member State as easily as in their own country.
By clicking on the "Community Law" icon, you will obtain useful information on European Union initiatives in this field.
You will also find useful information on the general principles of bringing cases to international courts by clicking on the "International law" icon.