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European Court of Justice (Appointment of New Judges and Advocates-General)

Volume 546: debated on Thursday 21 June 2012

I would like to update the House on progress made with regards to the partial renewal of the European Court of Justice’s judiciary this October.

I am pleased to announce that Mr Christopher Vajda QC was appointed as the new UK judge to the European Court of Justice. Mr Vajda will take up his new position in October this year, for an initial term of six years.

Mr Vajda was nominated by the UK following an open domestic recruitment process in which an expert selection and interview panel comprising of lay, judicial and legal members recommended his candidacy to Ministers. Mr Vajda has extensive knowledge of both European and domestic law, and the corresponding European and domestic legal systems, having practised as a barrister for the past 30 years, appearing before both UK and European Courts on numerous occasions. He has been a QC since 1997. Mr Vajda has also sat as a recorder within the Crown Court for the past eight years. I am sure hon. Members will join me in congratulating Mr Vajda on his appointment. We are confident that he will make a significant contribution to the workings of the Court during his term.

The nominations put forward by a number of other member states have also been approved by the UK, all of which have been scrutinised by the independent panel established under article 255 of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union:

Eleven renewals of sitting judges at the European Court of Justice:

Alexander Arabadjiev (Bulgaria)

Jiri Malenovský (Czech Republic)

Thomas Von Danwitz (Germany)

Jean-Claude Bonichot (France)

George Arestis (Cyprus)

Egils Levits (Latvia)

Egidijus Jarašiunas (Lithuania)

Alexandra Prechal (Netherlands)

Maria Berger (Austria)

Gustav Fernlund (Sweden)

Paolo Mengozzi (Italy)

One nomination for a new judge:

José Luís Da Cruz Vilaça (Portugal)

Two nominations for the renewal of an Advocate-General:

Antonio Tizzano (Italy)

Yves Bot (France)

Two nominations for new Advocates-General:

Melchior Wathelet (Belgium)

Nils Wahl (Sweden)