European Court of Justice doubles number of judges

Financial Times reports that “[t]he number of judges at the second-highest court in the EU is to double to 56, even though the court itself initially only wanted an extra 12, after member states failed to agree on how to appoint them.”  This measure is adopted invoking efficiency.

Almost a century ago, efficiency was also invoked by F. D. Roosevelt in th US: “On February 5, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt announces a controversial plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics immediately charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court and thus neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his New Deal.” (

It seems that members of the EU were not only worried of the efficiency problem, but a more substancial issue: They refused to increase the number of judges in a number that at least didn’t guaranteed 1 more judge for each state, therefore having one more judge that would represent each country in the Court.

Is this measure preceded by a “packing plan”?


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