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Urgent Procedure for a Preliminary Ruling by the ECJ

National courts are able to enter into a dialogue with the European Court of Justice by staying their national procedure and making a reference to the ECJ. With the ECJ's increasing competence in the area of freedom, security and justice, the Court proposed a streamlined procedure which could be used in urgent cases.

Diana Wallis was rapporteur for the European Parliament, which gave its opinion on 29 November 2007.

Read Diana's report as adopted in the Legal Affairs Committee and Plenary

In December 2007, the Council amended the Protocol on the ECJ's statute to provide for the possibility of a procedure for "urgent" preliminary rulings. It was published in late January in the Official Journal.

Read the Council Decision of 20 December 2007

Read the ECJ's revised rules of procedure (including Article 104b)

Read the Council's statement annexed to the Decision

The new procedure applies from 1 March 2008. It will normally be asked for by the national judge, but can exceptionally be applied irrespective of any request by the ECJ.