The hearing before the court shall be public, unless the Court decides otherwise, face-to-face or at the request of the parties, for serious reasons. As regards requests for a preliminary ruling, the President may, exceptionally, decide, at the request of the national court, to apply an expedited procedure derogating from the Rules of Procedure. Like accelerated cases with direct appeals, the accelerated preliminary ruling procedure ensures that the case is primacy so that the judgment of the Court can be delivered as soon as possible to the national referring court in the best interests of justice. In most of its cases, the EFTA Court of Justice has been confronted with legal issues that have not been decided (or at least not entirely) by the ECJ. The EEA Agreement does not contain any written provisions that would oblige the Court of Justice to take into account the case-law of the EFTA Court of Justice in the interpretation of EU or EEA law. However, in practice, the two EU courts (ECJ and CEC) have referred to the case-law of the EFTA Court of Justice. As regards the interpretation of EEA law, the EU Courts have referred to judgments of the EFTA Court of Justice concerning the legal nature of the EEA Agreement, the principle of State responsibility under EEA law, the free movement of goods and the freedom of establishment. The EFTA States, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, the Union and the European Commission shall be represented before the Court of Justice by a representative appointed for each case; the mandatary may be assisted by an adviser or a lawyer. Other parties must be represented by a lawyer. Only a lawyer authorised to practise before a court of a party to the EEA Agreement may represent or assist a party before the Court of Justice.
Such representatives, assistants and lawyers shall enjoy, when appearing before the Court, the rights and immunities necessary for the independent exercise of their functions, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice. For such lawyers and lawyers who appear before it, the Court shall have the powers normally conferred on the courts in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice. In accordance with Article 108(2) of the EEA Agreement of 2 May 1992, the EFTA States participating in the EEA Agreement establish a Court of Justice. This obligation was fulfilled by the conclusion of the Surveillance and Justice Agreement (PCA), cf. Article 27.  The EFTA Court of Justice was originally designed for the seven EFTA states of Austria, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. On 1 January 1994, with the entry into force of the EEA Agreement, the EFTA Court of Justice fulfilled its functions with five judges appointed by Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Switzerland was unable to ratify the EEA Agreement due to a negative referendum. Liechtenstein postponed its accession until 1 May 1995.
In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden left EFTA to join the EU. Since September 1995, the EFTA Court of Justice has been composed of three judges and six ad hoc judges appointed by the three effective EEA/EFTA States iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and appointed by common accord of their governments. Judgments are signed by the President and the Registrar. They are read in the non-jurisdiction. The original plan for the EEA was not the EFTA Surveillance Authority, but the European Commission had played that role. However, during the negotiations on the EEA Agreement, the Court of Justice of the European Communities wrote to the Council of the European Union to tell it that it considered that granting powers to the EU institutions in respect of non-EU states constituted a violation of the Treaties, which is why the current regime was developed. . . .