The Courts have made public some statistics for 2008 and made a press release. As always, there some good news and some bad news.
For the Court of Justice, there is a decline in the number of preliminary references made but a general increase in the number of cases brought before it (592 cases in 2008 as compared with 580 in 2007).
The Court of Justice has got cracking with cases too:
"As regards the duration of proceedings in 2008, there was a considerable improvement. Thus, for preliminary rulings, the duration of proceedings was on average 16.8 months, that is 3 months less than in 2006. A comparative analysis shows that the average duration of preliminary ruling proceedings has reached its lowest level for 20 years. As regards direct actions and appeals, the average duration was 16.9 months and 18.4 months respectively (18.2 and 17.8 months respectively in 2007)."
The Court of Justice dealt with three urgent preliminary rulings, while the urgent procedure was requested in three other cases but not granted.
The number of new cases brought before the Court of First Instance has increased also: 629 cases were brought in 2008, compared with 522 in 2007 and 432 in 2006.
The Court of First Instance has also pressed on with a lot of cases:
"The Court of First Instance dealt with 605 cases during 2008, which represents a 52% increase compared with 2007, whilst the number of hearings held in 2008 doubled: 341 compared with 172 in 2007. The average duration of proceedings decreased: 24.5 months compared with 27.7 in 2007."
For the 2007 statistics, see our post here.