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How to proceed?

Having determined which court, in which Member State, is competent to hear a case, what happens next?


If you wish to bring a case to court, you should bear in mind that there are certain national procedural rules to be followed. These vary depending on the way in which a case is referred to court, but their essential purpose is to help you to present the relevant matters of fact and law in a sufficiently clear and complete manner to allow the court to assess the admissibility and the merits of your case.

The ways in which a case is referred to court vary from one Member State to another. There are also variations within a Member State depending on the nature and circumstances of the application and the type of court. Referral to some courts for particular types of cases may require you to fill in a form or to assemble a whole file on the case. In some cases, it can be done orally.

These variations are explained by the fact that the disputes brought before the courts are also very diverse: by their nature they may be more or less difficult to resolve. It is very important to ensure that nothing is missing, to facilitate the work of the judge, allow the other party to defend itself properly and ensure that the whole procedure goes smoothly.

To obtain detailed information please select one of the flags listed on the right hand side.

When you are involved in litigation in a case where not all the facts of the case are connected with the same country you should check which law will be applied by the court in making a decision.


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Last update: 25/06/2013