The Council of the European Union (EU), on 29 April 2011, issued conclusions inviting EU member states to begin using “the European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) and a minimum set of uniform metadata for case law.”
In particular, the Council invites member states to apply ECLI to “all decisions rendered by all of their courts and tribunals,” and to apply the metadata set to “all decisions of courts and tribunals which are published on public websites.”
Detailed descriptions of the ECLI and the metadata set appear in the Annex to the document.
The document states that this measure is consistent with the Council’s earlier decision not to create a single database of all EU member states’ case law, but rather to develop a distributed system, enabled by interoperable metadata, for access to that case law.
For more information, please see the document.
There’s an example of an ECLI on page 2 of this paper: http://tinyurl.com/3jczhvm by Marc van Opijnen