EFTA Court - General Remarks

General Remarks

According to Article 108(2) of the EEA Agreement of 2 May 1992, the EFTA States taking part in the EEA Agreement shall establish a court of justice. That obligation was complied with by the conclusion of the "Surveillance and Court Agreement", cf. Art. 27. The EFTA Court was originally designed for the then seven EFTA States Austria, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. On 1 January 1994, upon the entry into force of the EEA Agreement, the EFTA Court took up its functions with five judges nominated by Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Switzerland was unable to ratify the EEA Agreement due to a negative referendum. Liechtenstein postponed membership until 1 May 1995. In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden left EFTA and joined the EU. Since September 1995, the EFTA Court has consisted of three judges and six ad hoc judges nominated by the three actual EEA/EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and appointed by their Governments through common accord.

When the EEA Agreement entered into force on 1 January 1994, the seat of the Court was the old EFTA capital Geneva. After the accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden to the European Union, it was decided to move the Court's seat to Luxembourg, where the European Court of Justice and the General Court are located. On 1 September 1996, the EFTA Court moved to Luxembourg.

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