On 10 February 2015, the Council of the European Union approved the Draft Rules of Procedure of the General Court of the EU (the “Rules”), which will permit the General Court of the EU to take into account intelligence and other secret or confidential information not disclosed to other parties in proceedings to challenge the imposition of EU restrictive measures. The Rules require the General Court to balance the right to effective judicial protection against the “requirements flowing from the security of the Union or one or more of its Member States or the conduct of their international relations”, and to use procedures appropriate to balancing such requirements, including the use of non-confidential summaries of confidential material.

The UK abstained from the vote concerning the Rules on the grounds that the Rules as drafted did not offer sufficient safeguards to protect the confidentiality of any confidential information. The Rules will come into force if approved by the General Court.

Summary and Conclusions of the European Scrutiny Committee dated 14 January 2015