It is widely acknowledged that the departure of the UK from the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit, gives rise to multiple legal problems, some of which are bound to lead to actions. While there is a widespread coverage of public law related litigation, there is less knowledge of potential private actions, including those taking…

The first half of the year has been a rollercoaster when it comes to BITs and ISDS, in particular in Europe. Several developments at various levels can be distinguished with one common denominator: for better or for worse, the European Union (EU) and EU law have become one of the key drivers in shaping international…

In light of the tariffs on steel imposed by the United States of America (“USA”), the Europe Union (“EU”) has threatened to impose tariffs of its own on American goods. Additionally, the EU has also filed a claim against USA at the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”). However, as discussed below, it may be that this…

Over the past two months, the judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV, hereinafter referred to as “Achmea”, has created much discussion among arbitration practitioners. Its reasoning and implications have already been addressed in several Kluwer Arbitration blog posts, available here, here and here. The…

The world after the  Achmea v Slovakia decision focuses on the question about the future of ISDS in relation to intra-EU BITs. At the ASIL conference on the 6 April 2018, a representative of the EU observed the decision in the Achmea case as one that was perhaps a natural consequence of the intricacies of…

As it has been extensively discussed on this blog, in its landmark Achmea case the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) found the arbitration provision of the bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) between the Netherlands and Slovakia to be incompatible with EU law. This decision potentially affects the effectiveness of the roughly 200 BITs concluded…

In the midst of challenges to the very legitimacy of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) celebrated its 50th anniversary and embarked on the fourth ICSID Rules amendment process in ICSID history. The previous amendment processes brought notable additions to the ICSID Rules, such as enhanced transparency in…

Many arbitration lawyers’ initial reaction to the CJEU’s Achmea judgment resembles the first three of the famous “five stages of grief” (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). Some deny Achmea’s relevance under international law, others angrily dismiss it as unreasoned and politically motivated, while many attempts to “bargain” a way out for intra-EU arbitrations under…

There has been much comment about recent awards in Energy Charter Treaty (‘ECT’) arbitrations concerning investors’ claims against Spain and other EU states regarding renewable energy projects . The fortunes of investors and states have waxed and waned over the last few years, but overall it seemed that investors faced a considerable hurdle. In recent…

The Achmea judgment, passed on the 6th of March 2018, and addressed in the Kluwer blog posts available here and here, prompted us to think about what could be the way forward for an effective investment and investor protection within the EU. Now that the CJEU decided that investment treaty arbitration based on intra-EU BITs…

On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a long-awaited decision on a preliminary ruling from Germany’s Federal Court of Justice in the Slovak Republic v Achmea case (available here and already addressed in a different KluwerBlog entry here) [Case C-284/16]. By concluding that the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands…

Introduction In a much anticipated judgment in Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Case C-284/16), the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled yesterday that the arbitration clause contained in Article 8 of the 1991 Netherlands-Slovakia BIT (the “BIT”) has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with…

  The present analysis critically focuses on some aspects of the Opinion on the intra-EU BITs issued by AG Wathelet in the Achmea case (Case C-284/16) in September 2017. The Opinion has been extensively commented on in previously published posts on this blog. As such posts have noted, the AG’s position that intra-EU BITs are…

The EU Foreign Investment Screening Proposal Last September, European Commission President Juncker presented a proposal for a European foreign investment screening regulation – apparently following a request by Germany, France and Italy. The proposal follows-up on the Commission’s “Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation”, published in May 2017. The Reflection Paper notes, inter alia, that “Openness…

The European Commission (“EC”) has recently taken another step in its efforts to replace the traditional investor-state-dispute-settlement (“ISDS”) mechanism which underlies the approximately 1,400 bilateral investment agreements in force between EU Member States and third countries. On 13 September 2017, the EC issued, based on Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the…

The Opinion delivered on 19 September 2017 by Advocate General Wathelet in the case C-284/16 Achmea has already been widely commented on in the international arbitration community. The views are either critical or approving, but so far, they have mostly been focused on whether a particular legal point made by the Advocate General was right…

Adoption of the EU Council Directive on Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in the European Union on 10 October 2017 is a milestone in international tax dispute resolution. The Directive offers a uniform mechanism to address tax treaty disputes among EU member states that meets the BEPS Action 14 minimum standard, and largely renders the arbitration option in…

The development of effective instruments for collective redress is a widely discussed topic among European politicians, consumer protectors, legal scholars and dispute resolution lawyers. The professional discourse was recently fuelled by the Volkswagen emission scandal (also referred to as “emissiongate” or “dieselgate”), which, at least in the US, was already subject to collective actions. Another…

I. Introduction On 19 September 2017 the Advocate General (AG) to the Court of Justice to the European Union (CJEU) Melchior Wathelet delivered his long-awaited Opinion in Case C-284/16 Slowakische Republik v Achmea BV. As already explained in another post, Bundesgerichtshof (“German Federal Court of Justice”) requested a preliminary ruling from the CJEU on the…

Reliance on the investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) mechanism of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is booming, with at least ten new cases registered in the past year alone. Notably, nine of these ten cases – and almost 60% of all publicly reported cases initiated to date – have been brought by an investor from a…

On May 30, 2017, Volterra Fietta and the University of Notre Dame hosted a debate of whether foreign investors can sue the United Kingdom for a hard Brexit. The recorded video is now available for viewing. Markus Burgstaller and I presented the case that foreign investors may have viable claims against the UK, while Jeremy…

My previous blog post on this topic dealt with two issues stemming from the juxtaposition between the current arbitration legal framework and necessary due process requirements which are specifically developed for antitrust damages proceedings: (1) the necessary regulation of complex arbitration specifically designed for antitrust damages matters, and (2) the need to address information asymmetry…

On his last day in office, former EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht sent the request for an opinion from the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) aiming to get a seal of approval from the CJEU that the EU-SING FTA and all future EU trade and investment treaties fall completely within the EU’s exclusive…

The long-standing dispute over the territory of Western Sahara has been the subject of a treaty, an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, an armed conflict, a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, and several General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. It has also recently come to the fore in several cases before the EU and…