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Key EU terms: J

22 February 2010
by inadim -- last modified 22 February 2010

A list of key EU legal terminology: J


Joint action

A legal instrument under the former Title VI of the EU Treaty that was used between 1993 to 1999. It provided for coordinated action by Member States on behalf of the Union or within the EU framework in cases where the Union's objectives could be attained more effectively by joint action than by the Member States acting individually. Under the Treaty of Amsterdam it has been replaced by 'decisions' and 'framework decisions'.

Joint position

A legal instrument under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union (police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters), enabling the EU Council to define the Union's approach on any specific issue. Member States are required to give full effect to decisions adopted unanimously in meetings of the Council.

Judgement enforcement

Enabling court decisions made in one EU Member State to be enforceable in another EU State. Efforts are being made to make this a reality, particularly in relation to judgments on right of access to children.


Decisions taken by courts. Recognition in EU Member States of the judgements made within other EU States is a fundamental aspect of EU judicial cooperation.

Judicial authorities

Officers involved in law enforcement through the courts. The European Judicial Network for civil and commercial matters is due to provide an EU forum for cooperation.

Judicial cooperation

Aimed at bringing laws and procedures of EU Member States closer together in order to provide better access to justice across the EU, its four main principles are: approximation of laws, coordination of proceedings, mutual recognition of decisions and protection of individuals' rights.

Judicial decisions

Decisions reached within the law courts. A cornerstone of judicial cooperation between EU Member States is the mutual recognition between States of decisions arrived at in each other's jurisdictions.

Judicial documents

A 2000 regulation has set out methods and procedures by which judicial authorities can swiftly receive judicial documents from another EU Member State.


The right or power to administer justice and apply laws, or the extent of such power. The cornerstone of EU judicial cooperation is the mutual recognition between States of decisions taken in each other's jurisdiction.


Legal authority or the territory in which such authority is extended. In international law, a conflict of jurisdiction arises where two or more States claim legal authority over a matter.


The administration of law according to agreed principles. One of the main aims of EU policy is access to justice for EU citizens, no matter the country to which they move.

Justice - home affairs

The Treaty of Amsterdam reorganised cooperation in justice and home affairs, setting as its objective the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice. Certain sectors were brought within the Community framework, widening the scope for the Commission to initiate proposals.

Source: European Commission - Justice and Home Affairs

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