Allocation of Fictional Names to CJEU Cases
3 February 2023
Riehle_Cornelia_Neu_SW.jpg Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

As of 1 January 2023, in references for preliminary rulings, natural persons are allocated a fictional name suggested by a computerised automatic name generator.

While before July 2018, actual names of the natural persons involved in proceedings before the CJEU had been used to designate the cases, since 1 July 2018, these names have been replaced with initials to better protect the persons’ personal data (→eucrim news of 20 October 2018).

Yet, cases for preliminary rulings lodged from 1 January 2023 onwards are allocated fictional names suggested by a computerised automatic name generator in order to make it easier to recall the names of such cases and to cite them both in case law and elsewhere. These fictional names do not correspond to the real name of any party to the proceedings and in principle, do not represent an existing name. The fictional name generator divides words into syllables, which are then randomly combined to produce fictional names. There is a generator for each official language of the EU and additional generators will be developed, where necessary, for languages of third countries.

However, the allocation of fictional names does not affect references for preliminary rulings in which the name of the legal person is sufficiently distinctive. In this case, the name of that legal person is used as the name of the case. Furthermore, it is not applied for direct actions. In direct actions, the CJEU continues to allocate a conventional name, which will appear in brackets after the usual name of the case. The computerised allocation is also not used in requests for opinions and appeals to the CJEU as well as for cases before the General Court.

News Guide

EU European Court of Justice (ECJ)


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section