New Version of Practice Directions Adopted
In February 2020, the Court of Justice adopted a new version of its Practice Directions, containing information on developments regarding the protection of personal data and the handling of appeals.
Data protection rules, for instance, require party representatives to give full effect in their pleas or written observations to an order − made by the referring court or by the Court of Justice − that data must be anonymous in preliminary ruling proceedings. The same goes for orders made by the General Court in cases of appeals. With regard to appeals at the General Court, the Practice Directions recall that such appeals are limited to questions of law and should not, in principle, reveal secret or confidential information. Another reminder addresses the need to lodge a special request along with the appeal to allow it to proceed in cases of Article 58a of the Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the EU. Lastly, the Practice Directions draw attention to the importance of complying with formal requirements relating to procedural acts.
As regards the oral stage of procedure, the Directions reiterate the criteria governing the organisation of an oral hearing. Specific guidance is given on arrangements to be made before the hearing, e.g., regarding language requirements, disability, or reduced mobility.