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Court Of Justice

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's attitude to the request by the Court of Justice of the European Communities to have an additional advocate-general appointed to the court.

This House resolved on 22 January that it considered that any enlargement of the court should take place only if a genuine need for it is clearly established. Her Majesty's Government were not then satisfied that there was such a need, but they are now persuaded by the trend of the court's workload and the rate of the disposal of cases that a little strengthening of its membership is called for. On the figures now available, the number of effective cases pending before the court has risen from 113 in June 1977 to 146 in June 1978, 189 in June 1979, and in June 1980 stands at 242. The Government are therefore satisfied that the volume of work could now in principle justify the creation of a fifth advocate-general post.