On 10 February 2015, EU Member States approved changes to the rules of procedure of the EU General Court. The proposed draft had been approved by “senior officials from EU governments” on 11 December 2014, as we reported on this blog.
This includes the new rule on which we have previously reported, changing the position at present which is that the Court requires all evidence submitted for a case to be seen by each party. If the new rules are finally approved by the Court, in exceptional cases the Court may rule evidence admissible without being disclosed.
The changes were approved by 27 of the 28 EU Member States. The UK abstained, voicing concern over the adequacy of safeguards in place under Article 105 to protect evidence submitted (as we previously reported); the new rules do not allow a party to withdraw material at any stage of proceedings, nor do they include any provision for security checking judgments and orders to prevent accidental disclosure.