80. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE: SINGLE
JUDGE (25TH REPORT, SESSION 1997-98)
Memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth
1. The Government welcomes the Committee's
comprehensive report, and the Committee's support for the proposal
by the Court of Justice that the Court of First Instance should,
in certain cases, be able to be constituted by a single Judge.
2. The Government's response on the points
raised is below.
Page 26"Beyond the single Judge"
The CFI needs greater freedom to adapt its Rules
of Procedure (paragraph 96)
3. The Government is sympathetic to the
idea that the Court should have greater freedom to adapt its own
Rules of Procedure. The Committee will recall that, at the last
Intergovernmental Conference, the United Kingdom did not object
to proposals to amend Article 188 to allow the Court to amend
its Rules of Procedure by Qualified Majority Voting. We would
give similarly careful consideration to such proposals in the
Consideration might usefully be given to the establishment
of a consultative committee to provide a forum for exchanging
views between the CFI and the clients of those who appear before
it (paragraph 97)
4. The Government acknowledges that this
suggestion could provide a useful informal mechanism for constructive
dialogue. It would be important, however, to obtain the views
of the Court of First Instance themselves. Any such committee
ought to be managed within existing resources, and remain on an
In the long term the CFI needs more Judges (paragraph
5. The Government is not at present convinced
that the CFI will need more judges before the next enlargement.
Accordingly, in the current climate of budgetary rigour the Government
would not support such a proposal unless sufficient off-setting
savings could be found elsewhere. The Government expects that
the Single Judge proposal, if accepted, will provide some relief,
and that, in the longer term, enlargement will provide the CFI
with extra manpower.
However, the Government is sympathetic to the
potential problems of the Court's workload. If serious problems
were to develop it would consider carefully any proposals for
ensuring the continued efficiency of the Court, including the
prospect of extra judges.