When the German Court was again seized with the question whether and to what extent this Court would exercise its jurisdiction to control the compatibility of EU law with fundamental rights provisions of the Basic Law it could therefore take this change of circumstances into account and withdraw, although under certain conditions, its announcement made in Solange I (case), to exercise such a control power.

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    Essentially, it means the German Court had to deal with the question, but I cannot think of a better definition.
    – Joe
    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


"Seized with the question" is an archaic phrase that is still heard in judicial and parliamentary proceedings to identify an issue that must be decided. The verb "seize" is an old French legal term that means "to be put in legal possession of."

The word eventually found its way into ordinary speech beyond the legal context. In modern English, "seize" typically means "to capture" (such as a hawk "seizing" its prey).

However, "seized with the question" retains the old legal meaning, "being put in possession of". "The court is seized with the question" literally means "the court has legal possession of the question"—and thus the court has the power to decide the issue.

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