The Constitutional Court of Belgium (Cour constitutionnelle) is the country’s highest court for constitutional matters. Composed of twelve judges, of whom six are Dutch-speaking and six are French-speaking, it rules, by judgments, principally on conflicts of authority between the legislative assemblies of the federal authority and the federated entities and on violations by legislative rules of the constitutional rights and liberties.

The Council of State of France (Conseil d'Etat) advises the Government of France on the preparation of bills, ordinances and certain decrees. It also answers the Government’s queries on legal affairs and conducts studies upon the request of the Government or through its own initiative regarding administrative or public policy issues.

The Court of Cassation of Belgium (Hof van Cassatie) is the main court of last instance in Belgium. It reviews the lawfulness of judicial rulings but does not review the facts of cases as they have been determined by lower courts. As such, the aim of the court is to safeguard legal uniformity and the development of the law.

The Court of Cassation of France (Cour de Cassation) is the highest court in the French judicial system. The Court of Cassation controls the right application of the law by inferior courts in civil and criminal matters. It aims at achieving unity in the application of the law. The court reviews the legality of the contested decision and may annul it, but does not review the facts which form the basis of it. Since 1991, the Court of Cassation may also issue opinions on new and complex questions upon request from inferior courts.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania (Înalta Curte de Casație și Justițieis the supreme court of Romania. As a court of cassation, its principal task is to ensure uniform interpretation and application of the law by all lower courts. Questions on the constitutionality of laws are referred to the Constitutional Court of Romania. 

The Maritime and Commercial High Court of Denmark (Sø-og Handelsretten) is one of Denmark’s common courts. However it is the only court in the country which is a specialised court, and therefore only deals with certain types of cases. Ever since the court was established in 1862, it has dealt with cases related to business matters. In 1872 the Maritime and Commercial Court’s Probate department was established to deal with merchants’, manufacturers’ and shipowners’ insolvent estates.

The Supreme Administrative Court of Austria (Verwaltungsgerichtshof, VwGH) is based in Vienna and rules on challenges to final authority ad-ministrative decisions. In its decisions the Verwaltungsgerichtshof ensures compliance with the principle of legality in the administrative matters brought before it. In addition to this function, the court also offers legal protection in the event of unjustified inactivity by a public administrative body.

The Supreme Court of Albania (Gjykata e Lartëis the highest judicial power in the Republic of Albania with its premises located in Tirana. Its main mission is to review the decisions of the courts of lower instances upon the request of the parties. It reviews matters from a law enforcement perspective, without judging the facts, thus guaranteeing through its jurisprudence uniformity in the application of the law and a unified judicial practice.

The Supreme Court of Cassation Bulgaria (Върховен касационен съд) is the cassation instance for judicial acts as provided for by law and hears cases as envisaged by law. When a matter of constitutionality is raised for consideration, the Supreme Court of Cassation may refer the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Within the structure of the Croatian judicial authority, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (Vrhovni sud Republike HrvatskeIs the highest court of law, which ensures the uniform application of the law and equal justice to all. It decides on appeals and other legal remedies against decisions of courts of lower instances in Croatia in criminal and civil cases. The court was established in 1990.


The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic (Nejvyšší soud České republiky), seated in Brno, is the highest judicial authority both in civil and criminal matters except for issues dealt with by the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic and the Supreme Administrative Court. The Supreme Court is made up of the President of the Supreme Court, the Vice-President, Heads of Divisions, Chairmen of panels and other judges. The President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic.

The Supreme Court of Hungary (Kúria), seated in Budapest, is the highest instance judicial forum of the country, dealing with administrative, civil, criminal, economic and labour matters, except for issues within the competence of the Constitutional Court of Hungary.

The Supreme Court of Italy (Corte di Cassazione) is the highest court in the judicial system established to ensure the correct application of the law and its uniform interpretation, together with the unity of the national objective law and the respect for the limits between the different jurisdictions.

The Supreme Court of Justice of Austria (Oberste Gerichtshofis the final appellate instance in civil and criminal proceedings in Austria. As a part of the overall ordinary court system, the Supreme Court performs a comprehensive guiding role consisting of the safeguarding of legal uniformity, legal certainty and the development of the law.

The Supreme Court of Justice of Portugal (Supremo Tribunal de Justiçawas created, by constitutional law, on 23 September in 1822, as the highest court of law in Portugal, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. The Supreme Court has exclusive competence in matters of civil and criminal law.

The Supreme Court of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos Aukščiausiasis Teismaswas established on 15 June 1994 and started its activity on 1 January 1995. The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the only court of cassation in the Republic of Lithuania for reviewing effective judgments and rulings passed by the courts hearing criminal cases at the first and appeal instances as well as decisions and rulings in civil cases passed by the courts of appeal instance.

As the highest court in the fields of civil, criminal and tax law in the Netherlands, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Hoge Raad der Nederlandenis responsible for hearing appeals in cassation and for a number of specific tasks with which it is charged by law. In the fields of civil and criminal law, the court is also the supreme court for the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius.

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial court in Singapore. The Supreme Court consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court. The Singapore International Commercial Court and the Family Justice Courts are also part of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Spain (Tribunal Supremo de España), located in Madrid, is the highest court in all legal fields (civil and criminal matters, administrative proceedings, labour law and military law), the only exception being constitutional guarantees and rights, which is monitored by the Constitutional Court. Created in 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes (Assembly), it constitutes the crown of the national appeals system and is therefore ultimately responsible for the uniform interpretation of jurisprudence in Spain.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the final domestic court of appeal for matters under English and Welsh law, Northern Ireland law and Scottish civil law. The UK Supreme Court hears appeals from courts in all of these legal systems. The court was established in October 2009, succeeding the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, and its current President is Baroness Hale of Richmond.