Need help finding European case law ?

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The European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) facilitates the correct and unequivocal citation of judgments from EU and Member State courts. A set of uniform metadata helps to improve search facilities for case law. Before ECLI, it was difficult and time-consuming to find relevant case law. Take, for example, a case where a ruling of the Supreme Court of Member State A was known to be of interest for a specific legal debate. The case was registered in various national and cross-border case law databases, but in each database the ruling had a different identifier. Easy access to judicial decisions of other Member States is of growing importance in reinforcing the role of the national judge in applying and upholding EU law. Searching for, and citation of judgments from other Member States is seriously hampered by differences in national case law identification systems, citation rules and technical fields describing the characteristics of a judgment. To overcome these differences and to facilitate easy access to – and citation of – national, foreign and European case law, the Council of the European Union invited Member States and EU institutions to introduce the European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) and a minimum set of uniform metadata for case law. The ECLI search engine, hosted on the European e-Justice Portal, allows users to search for legal decisions/judgments with an assigned ECLI identifier.

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