Court Cases

One of the EDPS’ tasks is to intervene in cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the General Court.

There are several ways in which the EDPS can be involved in cases before the Court:

  • the EDPS has the power to refer a matter to the Court;
  • decisions of the EDPS can be challenged before the Court of Justice; and
  • the EDPS may intervene in cases when these are relevant to his tasks.

So far, the EDPS has not brought a case before the CJEU.

Several decisions of the EDPS have been challenged before the Court, but the cases were dismissed or withdrawn at an early stage (for instance, Case T-164/09 and T-237/16).

Regulation 45/2001 Article 47(1)(i), which is to be repealed and replaced with a new Regulation which brings it into line with the General Data Protection Regulation, lays down the right of the EDPS to intervene in actions brought before the CJEU.

In its orders of 17 March 2005 in the so-called PNR-cases, the CJEU decided that the right of the EDPS to intervene extends to all matters concerning the processing of personal data.

In practice, this means that the EDPS' right to intervene in court cases is not limited to cases where personal data has been processed by European institutions or bodies, but extends to all matters affecting the protection of personal data, either on EU or Member State level.

The right to intervene extends to the General Court.

The word actions has been interpreted to exclude preliminary ruling proceedings under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (Article 267 TFEU) as well as requests for Opinions (Article 218(11) TFEU).
To plug this gap, the Court has invited the EDPS to answer questions or provide information on the basis of Article 24 of its Statute on several occasions.

To read more about our interventions, go to our EDPS Pleadings page.

As privacy is a dynamic concept that evolves through litigation and Court decisions, the EDPS closely monitors the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and of the European Court of Human Rights.

The EDPS sometimes produces summaries of the relevant case-law of these Courts and of national Courts of EU Member States.

Link to 2015 Case Law Overview