European Case Law Identifier English (en) français (fr)

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The European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) is a uniform identifier that has the same recognizable format for all Member States and EU courts.

ECLI facilitates the correct and unequivocal citation of judgements from European and national courts.

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 and so its proper and easy referencing.

Characteristics of ECLI

Composed of five, mandatory, elements:

  1. ‘ECLI’: to identify the identifier as being a European Case Law Identifier;
  2. the country code;
  3. the code of the court that rendered the judgement;
  4. the year the judgement was rendered;
  5. an ordinal number, up to 25 alphanumeric characters, in a format that is decided upon by each Member State. Dots are allowed, but not other punctuation marks.

The elements are separated by a colon.

For example the code ECLI:NL:HR:2009:384425 would read as "decision 384425" of the Supreme Court (‘HR’) of the Netherlands (‘NL’) from the year 2009.

further reading

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