Discussion Following the Presentation by Christian Tomuschat
Just a few words on the Court’s workload and backlog, which Paul Mahoney has recently qualified as “unmanageable”. Indeed, the Court expects for the year of 2007 53.500 applications, it has 104.000 applications pending before it, 10.000 of which have been pending for more than 3 years and therefore constitute backlog. After 2 audit reports and a management report, we know that the Court is well managed, is productive and has streamlined its procedures again and again. All easy solutions have already been found. Now every choice is difficult. Doing nothing will unavoidably be very difficult indeed in the long run. The audit reports have found that for the Court to cope with it would need 660 additional registry posts (at present there are 580 posts), i.e. more or less double the budget. That is not feasible politically. Even if the Court got all this money, I am less than sure that a mammoth court would be such a good idea. If it became known that applications could be handled within a year or less, I confidently forecast an avalanche of tens of thousands of new cases from all the new Member States in which citizens have no trust in national courts.
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