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European Union Legal Materials

European Court of Justice

Consisting of 28 judges and 8 advocates general, the Court of Justice of the European Union interprets and adjudicates disputes over EU law, a separate body of law distinct from and supreme over the law of the Member States. The judges are elected by common accord among the Member States. The Court of Justice consists of two courts: the Court of Justice and the General Court.

Court of Justice: Deals with requests for preliminary rulings from national courts, certain actions for annulment and appeals. Comprises 1 judge from each EU country, plus 11 advocates general. 

General Court: Rules on actions for annulment brought by individuals, companies and, in some cases, EU governments. In practice, this means that this court deals mainly with competition law, State aid, trade, agriculture, trade marks. Comprises 2 judges from each EU country.