Whenever litigating against states or sovereign entities – or international organisations for that matter – outside of their home jurisdiction there is a roadblock to consider: immunities. On closer inspection, immunities turn out as two roadblocks: immunity from jurisdiction and immunity from enforcement. Whereas the general assumption is that an agreement to arbitrate waives immunity…

On 5 May 2020, which tellingly was the day before the last day in office of the President of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) Voßkuhle, the Bundesverfassungsgericht rendered its judgment on the constitutionality of the participation of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) and the German Government in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s programme…

The Paris Court of Appeal has recently sought a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the interpretation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in the ongoing Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case.   A 20-Year-Old Tale The Republic of Moldova v. Komstroy case highlights the contradicting approaches to…

The recently leaked treaty for the termination of intra-EU BITs can be seen as the culmination of an ongoing effort by the European Commission to discourage investment arbitration between Member States, reflecting, in the eyes of many, a tension between public international law and EU law. In spite of this, and even after the Court…

Introduction The United States announced the reinstatement of sanctions on Iran in May 2018. Following that, the EU responded by revising their Blocking Regulation (Regulation 2271/96) in August 2018. The Blocking Regulation was designed to safeguard European entities from the extraterritorial reach of the U.S. sanctions. The uncertainty surrounding the scope of application and the nature of blocking…

Introduction The World Trade Organization (the “WTO”) is at an inflection point. As global dynamics shift, members must consider whether the institution, as it is currently configured, has passed its prime. The success of the WTO to date epitomizes the pinnacle of an apparent ideological consensus. However, the current recession of that consensus is forcing…

Tribunal Directions re GDPR in Tennant Energy vs. Canada A NAFTA tribunal in the Tennant Energy vs. Canada case recently issued directions by email to the parties stating that “the Tribunal finds that an arbitration under NAFTA Chapter 11, a treaty to which neither the European Union nor its Member States are party, does not,…

In a striking new episode of the long-running Micula saga, the General Court of the CJEU has quashed the European Commission’s 2015 decision that Romania’s payment of the €178 million award rendered by an ICSID tribunal back in 2013 would constitute illegal State aid in the meaning of Article 107 of the TFEU. In its…

The regular readers of the Kluwer Arbitration Blog will recall my blog at the beginning of this year in which I predicted that 2019 would be the ‘Year of the big Harvest’ for the European Commission regarding its efforts to permanently change the landscape of international investment law and arbitration. This posts will review the…

The Brexit clock is ticking and, under the current circumstances, the no deal scenario is being increasingly regarded at least as a concrete option – although the situation is changing on a daily basis and the extension of the two-year term under Article 50 TFEU could provide some breathing room. In the context of the…

Introduction In September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”). Last January, Advocate General Bot concluded that this mechanism for…

The 4th EFILA Annual Conference, held in London on 31 January 2019, offered a lively discussion about the future of the European investment policy among the EFILA’s distinguished guests. As expected, the focal topics were the ISDS reform, the EU proposal for Multilateral Investment Court (“MIC”), and the way forward. The MIC proposal was the…

Indicating signals of the evolution of international arbitration, as a response to the need to keep up with a globalised legal and financial market, is not an easy task. It is not an easy task because of the different ways evolution is perceived by different circles. For some, a wind of change in international arbitration…

Introduction On 7 September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”). In his much anticipated opinion rendered today, Advocate General…