If you come from a common law background, you need to understand that our view of the role of case law is not universally held.
In the civil law tradition, case law is not necessarily accounted a formal source of law, nor the binding nature of precedent (stare decisis) apply: do spend some time finding out how each jurisdiction actually handles case law.
Another stricking feature - to Anglo-American lawyers - is the absence of party names: decisions are often anonymised to protect privacy.
ECLI is a uniform identifier (neutral citation system) that has the same recognizable format for all Member States and EU courts. It is composed of five, mandatory, elements:
The elements are separated by a colon. For example, 2009 decisions of the Hoge Raad (Supreme Court of the Netherlands) would start: