As pointed out by our friends over at the Conflict of Laws Blog, the Court of Justice has handed down its first judgment using the urgent preliminary reference procedure in Case C-195/08 PPU Inga Rinau.
The case concerned the interpretation of Council Regulation 2201/2003 (‘the Brussels IIa Regulation’) of November 27 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility.
We'll leave the substantive comments to the folks at Conflict of Laws Blog. We just want to draw attention to speed with which the Court dealt with the case. The Supreme Court of Lithuania seised the Court of Justice of a preliminary reference in May 14th 2008 and requested that the urgent preliminary reference procedure be applied on May 21st 2008, the request reaching the Court of Justice the following day. The Court of Justice agreed to apply the urgent procedure on May 23rd 2008 - one day after it received the request. The parties, six governments of member States and the Commission made written or oral submissions on June 26th and 27th 2008. And finally, judgment on July 11th 2008.
That's less than two months for a rather complicated case, translated into so many languages too. It is gratifying to see that the urgent preliminary reference procedure really works.
UPDATE: The judgment is available in English here.