The Court of Justice of the European Communities is the judicial institution of the Community. It is made up of three courts: the Court of Justice, the Court of First Instance and the Civil Service Tribunal. Their main task is to examine the legality of Community measures and ensure the uniform interpretation and application of Community law (Article 220 of the EC Treaty).
To enable it properly to fulfil its task, the Court has been given clearly defined jurisdiction, which it exercises on references for preliminary rulings and in various categories of proceedings (actions for failure to fulfil obligations, actions for annulment, actions for failure to act, appeals, reviews). As regards the interpretation and application of Community environmental law, the rulings of the Court mainly come from actions for failure to fulfil obligations (Articles 226-228 of the EC Treaty) or from references for preliminary rulings (Article 234 of the EC Treaty). Information relating to the Court of Justice is available on the website of the Court.
Strictly speaking, the case-law is not a source of law. However, through its case-law, the Court of Justice has identified and established fundamental principles, such as the primacy of Community law over national law or the liability of Member States for breach of Community law.
With regard to the nature and biodiversity cases, the development of the Court's case-law contributed to clarifying the obligations of Member States under the Birds and Habitats Directives and strengthening the rights of the European citizens.
Information relating to every case brought before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance since 1953 can be found on the following webpage (access to the case-law by case number).
and Biodiversity cases ruling of the European Court of Justice
2006 (1,3 MB)
Purpose of this booklet is to have a brief and handy collection of main Courts’ rulings (produced until 15th July 2006) related to crucial articles of Birds and Habitats Directives. The substance of this booklet is made of selected Court’s rulings which are the most important ones in particular issues of these two directives.
Court rulings related to Article 6 of the Habitats Directive (2 MB)
An updated booklet has been produced compiling the most important rulings of the European Court of Justice related to Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. It covers rulings delivered until June 2014 and also includes reference to a number of rulings on the EIA and SEA Directives where these are relevant to Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive.