HC Deb 15 April 1986 vol 95 cc380-1W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement setting out the descriptions and purposes of the various courts attached to the European Court of Justice referred to in the Single European Act.

Mrs. Chalker

The Single European Act authorises the Council, at the request of the Court of Justice, to set up by unanimous agreement a Court of First Instance with jurisdiction to hear and determine certain classes of action brought by individuals or companies. Its purpose will be to ease the workload on the Court of Justice (which has increased threefold over the last decade). The Court of Justice is expected to propose that the Court of First Instance should take over classes of action which typically involve time consuming fact-finding. These are likely to include applications concerned with the terms of service of Community employees which currently account for over half the cases that come before the court. There will be a right of appeal on points of law from the Court of First Instance to the Court of Justice.