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The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2015–2016

annual-report-2015-16

25 Section two

25 Section two Performance Report: Jurisdiction and casework References to the Court of Justice of the European Union Like other courts, the UKSC is able (under Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) to ask the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) to give preliminary rulings concerning: a. the interpretation of the Treaties; and b. the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union; where such a question is raised in proceedings before it and it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to give judgment. As the final court of appeal in the UK, the UKSC has to refer a question to the CJEU unless it falls within the four categories identified in the decision of the European Court of Justice in CILFIT v. Ministry of Health (Case C283/81). That case laid down the categories of case where the European Court considered that no reference should be made to it, namely: In judgments given between 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016 following substantive appeal hearings, the UKSC agreed to refer questions in two cases. It declined to do so in five cases. In permission applications in cases said to raise a question of European Union law, the Supreme Court also considers whether the appeal falls outside of the CILFIT categories outlined above. The Court may order a reference to the Court of Justice before determining whether to grant permission to appeal. In such circumstances proceedings on the application for permission to appeal are stayed until the answer is received. Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016, the UKSC made two such references. Over the same year, the UKSC has, when refusing permission to appeal, refused to make references in eight cases. a. where the question raised is irrelevant; b. where the Community provision in question has already been interpreted by the Court of Justice; c. where the question raised is materially identical with a question which has already been the subject of a preliminary ruling in a similar case; and d. where the correct application of Community law is so obvious as to permit no scope for any reasonable doubt. Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

26 Section two Performance Report: Jurisdiction and casework © PA Top: Many cases generate considerable public and media interest. Varsha Gohil (3rd from right) and Alison Sharland (far right) speak to the media outside the Supreme Court on the day the Justices gave judgment in a dispute over non-disclosure in divorce cases, October 2015 Left: Justices processing into Westminster Abbey for the annual service to mark the beginning of the legal year, October 2015 Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

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