CJEU still not providing opinions in English

01 February 2016

English opinions are still not being provided

We continue to be concerned at the lack of English translations of some important opinions and judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).

We wrote to the CJEU in 2011 regretting the fact that some important opinions of that court were not released in English. We received a response pointing out the difficulties the court faced because of resources and because translation staff had to deal with opinions and judgments of all disciplines, not just those dealing with tax.

The position has not improved since. In the recent past, some important opinions have not been released in English, including those in cases such as Skandia (C-7/13) and Sveda (C-126/14). We have, therefore, written to the court again.

We pointed out that there had been adverse comment in the Court of Appeal by Lord Justice Patten in the case of Volkswagen Financial Services [2012] UKUT 394 (TCC). At paragraph 33 he commented:

‘… We are not assisted by the fact that there is as yet no official translation of the advocate general’s opinion [in the case of Sveda] and the parties are not in complete agreement about how [41]-[47] should be translated.’

This time we acknowledged the court’s difficulties with resources.  We suggested that priority should be given to translating opinions into the language of member states to which the case is of particular importance, commencing with cases where a member state has made submissions.

The court has responded, again pointing out the resources problem. We are looking for further solutions.