Key facts of the case:
Appeal — Civil service — Officials — Appraisal — Career evaluation report — Appraisal year 2013 — Dismissal of the action at first instance — Composition of the Chamber which delivered the judgment at first instance — Procedure for the appointment of a judge to the Civil Service Tribunal — Tribunal established by law — Principle of the lawful judge.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, THE GENERAL COURT (Appeal Chamber) hereby:
67) As is apparent from the first sentence of the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, one of the requirements concerning the composition of the Chamber is that courts must be independent, impartial and previously established by law.
69) In that context, it should be recalled that, under the first sentence of Article 52(3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in so far as the Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 (‘the ECHR’), their meaning and scope are to be the same as those laid down by that convention.
70) It should also be recalled that, under the third subparagraph of Article 6(1) TEU and Article 52(7) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, when interpreting the rights set out in that charter, the explanations drawn up as a way of providing guidance in its interpretation (OJ 2007 C 303, p. 17) are to be given due regard by the European Union judicature. As regards the interpretation of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, those explanations state:
‘In Union law, the right to a fair hearing is not confined to disputes relating to civil law rights and obligations. That is one of the consequences of the fact that the Union is a community based on the rule of law as stated by the Court in Case 294/83, ‘Les Verts’ v European Parliament (judgment of 23 April 1986  ECR 1339). Nevertheless, in all respects other than their scope, the guarantees afforded by the ECHR apply in a similar way to the Union.’
71) It follows that, as regards the interpretation of the first sentence of the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, account should be taken of the guarantee afforded by the first sentence of Article 6(1) of the ECHR, which also lays down the principle of the lawful judge.
78) Accordingly, having regard to the importance of compliance with the rules governing the appointment of a judge for the confidence of litigants and the public in the independence and impartiality of the courts, the judge at issue cannot be regarded as a lawful judge within the meaning of the first sentence of the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.