Procedural Friend or Foe? The advocate general in the court of justice of the European Union revisited
The Advocate General in the Court of Justice merits special attention as an institutional novum peculiar to the Court of Justice. It shares with judges the conditions and requirements for appointment. However, what distinguishes the Advocate General from a Judge is his function in the procedure and decision-making process of the Court. Remembering that his function is sui generis, insistence on definition at all costs might be misleading. Suffice it to say that he acts as a voice of european Union law, a highly-qualified amicus curiae, guided by the objective of the consistency, justice and coherence of European Union law. However, in recent years his function has come under closer scrutiny as a result of various challenges brought before the European Court of Human Rights and gave rise tofascinating exchange in the politics of law between luxembourg and Strasbourg. As such, the office of the Advocate General provided the most fertile ground for judicial dialogue and mutual learning between Europe’s two highest courts. While this analysis asks the question of whether the voice of Advocate General might be indeed prejudicial to parties’ procedural rights and guarantees, this more general systemic and dialogic dimension should not be lost to the world.