Partial renewal of membership and entry into office of five new Judges of the Court of Justice(JIRP)

Presentation of the new Judges

Maria Lourdes Arastey Sahún


Born in 1959 in Tarragona (Spain), Ms Maria Lourdes Arastey Sahún studied at the Universitat de Barcelona (University of Barcelona, Spain), where she obtained a law degree in 1983, before taking professional judicial training at the Escuela Judicial (Judicial College, Spain) from 1984 to 1985. She was appointed as a district judge at the Juzgado de Distrito de Sant Feliu de Llobregat (District Court of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain) and the Juzgado de Distrito de Barcelona (District Court of Barcelona, Spain) from 1985 to 1989. In 1989, she was assigned to the Juzgado de lo Social No 7 de Barcelona (Social Court No 7 of Barcelona, Spain) for one year. She then joined the Social Division of the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña (High Court of Justice of Catalonia, Spain) where she remained until 2009. She was appointed to the Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court, Spain) as a judge in 2009. From 2013 to 2021, she was also a judge at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Administrative Tribunal (Brussels, Belgium). In addition to her judicial career, Ms Lourdes Arastey Sahún was also involved in teaching. From 1998 to 2008, she was an associate professor in Employment and Social Security Law at the Universitat de Barcelona. She was also a lecturer at national judicial schools, in particular in Spain (on a regular basis), Bulgaria (2008) and Romania (2008), and at the Juan Carlos I School for Centroamerica and the Caribbean (2006). Ms Lourdes Arastey Sahún gave lectures and participated in seminars at numerous universities. She was also a member of several bodies operating, inter alia, in the fields of EU law, training and examination of the competence of judges, and alternative dispute resolution. Ms Lourdes Arastey Sahún was appointed as a Judge at the Court of Justice on 7 October 2021.

Zoltán Csehi


Born in 1965 in Budapest (Hungary), Mr Zoltán Csehi was awarded a law degree from Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) in 1990 and a Master of Laws degree from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Germany) in 1991. He pursued doctoral studies at Eötvös Loránd University, and presented his thesis in law in 2004. He also graduated in history of art from Eötvös Loránd University in 1992. He was admitted to the Budapest Bar and worked as a lawyer in Hungary from 1995 to 2016. In parallel with his activity as a lawyer, he was appointed as an arbitrator at the Pénz és Tőkepiaci Állandó Választottbíróság (Permanent Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Stock Exchange) and as an ad hoc arbitrator, from 2004 to 2016. Additionally, Mr. Csehi taught law as an associate professor from 1991 to 2005, and as a full professor at Eötvös Loránd University from 2005 to 2016. He also lectured at the Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary), as Head of the Department of Commercial Law from 2007 to 2013, and as a professor from 2013 onwards. There he then took up the position of Head of the Department of Private and Commercial Law from 2013 to 2016, Research Professor of Private and Commercial Law from 2017 onwards, and Head of the Department of Civil Law in 2018. He has been a visiting professor at the Université catholique de Lyon (Catholic University of Lyon, France) since 2013. Mr Csehi was appointed as a Judge at the General Court on 13 April 2016, where he served for five years before being appointed as a Judge at the Court of Justice on 7 October 2021.

Octavia Spineanu-Matei


Born in 1967 in Vălenii de Munte (Romania), Ms Octavia Spineanu-Matei obtained a law degree (merit diploma) from the Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iași (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași, Romania) in 1990 and a doctorate in law from the Academia de Poliție ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ (Alexandru Ioan Cuza Police Academy, Romania) in 1999. In 1991, she started her professional career as a judge at the Judecătoria sectorului 4 București (Court of First Instance, Sector 4, Bucharest, Romania) and served there until 1996. From 1996 to 1999, she was a judge at the Tribunalul București (District Court, Bucharest, Romania), where she was president of the civil section between 1997 and 1999. After having presided at the Curtea de Apel București (Court of Appeal, Bucharest, Romania) as a judge from 1999 to 2005, and as a president of the civil section from 1999 to 2003, she was appointed as a judge at the Înalta Curte de Casație și Justiție (High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania) from 2006 to 2016. From 2006 to 2016, Ms Spineanu-Matei was appointed as an External Member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany. After 1997, she also dedicated herself to the training of Romanian magistrates and trainee judges as a trainer at the Institutul Național al Magistraturii (National Institute of the Magistracy, Romania), where she was also a member of the Scientific Council and, from 2011 to 2016, a director. She also served on the Board of Governors of the Școala Națională de Grefieri (National School for Registrars, Romania). From 2012 to 2016, she was a Board Member of the Doctoral School of the Universitatea din București (University of Bucharest, Romania). She co-authored several books and authored numerous articles in the field of law and she regularly spoke at national and international conferences. Ms Spineanu-Matei was appointed as a Judge at the General Court on 19 September 2016. She served at the General Court for five years before being appointed as a Judge at the Court of Justice on 7 October 2021.

Miroslav Gavalec


Born in 1961 in Zlín (Czechoslovakia), Mr Miroslav Gavalec was first awarded a degree in mechanical engineering in the fields of heat engines and nuclear equipment at the České vysoké učení technické v Praze (Czech Technical University in Prague, Czechoslovakia), and held various positions in the nuclear industry from 1986 to 1991. His interest in social sciences led him to study law at the Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia) from 1990 to 1995, where he was awarded a ‘Magister’ degree in law in 1995 and the title of Doctor of Laws (PhD) in 2010. In 2001, he was appointed as a commercial and family judge and as an administrative judge at the Okresný súd Bratislava III (District Court, Bratislava III, Slovakia). He served there until 2005, when he joined the Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky (Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic), where he served first as a judge of the Administrative Division and, from 2009, as President of the First Chamber of the Administrative Division. In parallel with his judicial career, Mr Gavalec established himself as a university lecturer. Between 2005 and 2011, he taught at the Institute of Economics and Management of the Paneurópska vysoká škola (Pan-European University, Slovakia). From 2006 to 2014 he lectured at the Institutes of Administrative Law and Private Law of the Paneurópska vysoká škola. Mr Gavalec was a member of the European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment from 2005 to 2020, and a member of the European Association of Administrative Judges from 2006 to 2015. Mr Gavalec was appointed as a Judge at the Court of Justice on 7 October 2021.

Dimitrios Gratsias


Born in 1957 in Athens (Greece), Mr Dimitrios Gratsias obtained his master’s degree in law from the Ethniko kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinón (National and Kapodistrian University ofAthens, Greece) in 1980 and a diplôme d’études approfondies (diploma of advanced studies, DEA) in public law from the université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne (University of Paris I, PanthéonSorbonne, France) in 1981. The following year, the Centre universitaire d’études communautaires et européennes (Université Paris I) (University Centre for Community and European Studies, University of Paris I, France) awarded him a diploma in Community law. In 1985, Mr Gratsias began his professional career at the Symvoulio tis Epikrateias (Council of State, Greece) where he worked as a junior officer until 1992. He was subsequently appointed as a junior member in 1992 and then as a member in 2005. In addition to those functions he was appointed as a supplementary member of the Anotato Eidiko Dikastirio (Superior Special Court, Greece) for two years (1998-1999) and, in 2006, as a member of the Eidiko Dikastirio Agogon Kakodikias (Special Court for Actions against Judges, Greece) for one year. In 2008, he was a member of the Anotato Dikastiko Symvoulio Dioikitikis Dikaiosinis (Supreme Council for Administrative Justice, Greece). During the 2009-2010 judicial year, he was an inspector of administrative courts. Between 1994 and 1996, Mr Gratsias joined the Court of Justice as a legal secretary in the cabinet of Advocate General Georges Cosmas. Mr Gratsias was a Judge at the General Court between 25 October 2010 and 6 October 2021 where he also took on the functions of President of the Chamber for two successive terms, from 18 September 2013 to 30 September 2019. He was appointed Judge at the Court of Justice on 7 October 2021.

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