News of the award in Green Power and Obton v Spain is sinking in. Initial responses indicate that this is no ordinary decision – but rather a ‘major earthquake’, a ‘landmark decision’ and ‘one for the history books’. It may well be: on 16 June 2022, an SCC arbitral tribunal seated in Stockholm declined jurisdiction…

The Spanish Cases Saga illustrates the arduous task of balancing the host state’s right to regulate and an investor’s economic interests. This post summarizes the tribunal’s reasoning in Novenergia v. Spain and Stadtwerke München v. Spain regarding FET breaches in the energy sector. The post argues that the latter case adopts a clearer analysis of…

Germany found itself as the hotseat of the “battle” between EU law and investment arbitration in May 2016 when the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) referred questions relating to the compatibility of EU law with the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands BIT to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in Slovakia v….

Amidst the still ongoing negotiations on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which were concluded with an agreement in principle yesterday (24 June 2022), the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) delivered its ruling on Belgium’s request for an opinion on the compatibility of intra-EU investor-state arbitration under a modernised text of…

‘Sunset’ (or ‘survival’) clauses extend the effects of the relevant investment treaty after its termination. They provide that the protection afforded by the treaty is maintained for a further period of time after termination to investments made during the lifetime of the treaty. As such, sunset clauses have an ‘entrenchment effect’ limiting the ability of…

The extent to which different dispute resolution fora are willing to pay deference to the Court of Justice of the EU’s (“CJEU”) seminal (and controversial) Achmea decision is being closely observed by investors and States alike. 1) Not to mention the European Commission, which has sought to make itself heard in numerous proceedings relating to intra-EU…

In its judgment rendered today, the Court of Justice has quashed the General Court’s decision having ruled that the European Commission was not competent ratione temporis to assess whether the compensation paid by Romania to the Micula brothers, in implementation of a 2013 ICSID award rendered under the 2002 Sweden-Romania BIT, was constitutive of state…

In the latest episode of the intra-EU investment arbitration saga, the CJEU ruled on 26 October 2021, in Poland v. PL Holdings (Case C-109/20), that EU Member States are precluded from concluding with investors from another EU Member State an ad hoc arbitration agreement identical to an arbitration clause of an international treaty deemed invalid…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism provided for by the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) (Article 26(2)c) is not applicable to intra-EU disputes (C-741/19). In the same decision, it also decided that the acquisition of a claim arising from an electricity supply contract does not constitute…

The investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism provided by Art. 26 (2) (c) of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is highly relevant to the protection of intra-EU investments.1)In 2018, about 45 per cent of all treaty-based intra-EU investment arbitrations were brought pursuant to the ECT. See UNCTAD, Fact Sheet on Intra-European Union Investor-State Arbitration Cases, IIA…

Many have long feared that the end of intra-EU BIT arbitration brought about by Achmea would soon be followed by the end of contract-based intra-EU ISDS. Although Advocate General (AG) Kokott’s recent Opinion in Case C-109/20 Poland v. PL Holdings allows for a glimmer of hope for non-treaty-based investment disputes, a closer reading of the…

No doubt, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has become the hottest topic in the investment treaty arbitration world. Not only are EU Member States the most frequent respondent in ECT disputes – for example, the Netherlands has recently received its first ECT claim – but the ECT itself is currently in the middle of a…

Since Achmea there has been much debate on whether its reasoning invalidates ECT intra-EU investor state clauses as a matter of EU and international law. The recent AG’s Opinion in Cases C‑798/18 and C‑799/18 does not provide an answer to this question as a matter of EU law. A review of CJEU case law in…

On 3 December 2020, Belgium announced the submission of a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for an opinion on whether the intra-European application of the arbitration provisions of the future modernised Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) are compatible with the EU Treaties. Belgium indicated that the purpose of its request…

Much has been written – on this page and elsewhere – about the future viability of investor-state arbitration based on intra-EU BITs in the aftermath of the CJEU’s Achmea decision. In the authors’ view, the May 2020 Termination Agreement concluded between 23 of the 27 EU Member States with the intention to terminate existing intra-EU…

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 long-awaited Agreement to terminate intra-EU BITs (bilateral investment treaties) was signed on 5 May 2020 (the “Termination Agreement”). According to the European Commission, the Termination Agreement “implements the March 2018 European Court of Justice judgment (Achmea case), where the Court found that investor-State arbitration clauses in [intra-EU BITs] are incompatible with EU Treaties.” The…

In its unanimous decision in the Micula case the UK Supreme Court on 19 February 2020 made clear that ICSID arbitral awards rendered by tribunals established pursuant to intra-EU BITs could be enforced in the UK. As explained by Guillaume Croisant in his blog post on 20 February, the UK Supreme Court overruled the Court…

The Cold War era brought to life, in a strange way, a number of all-encompassing treaties dealing with major subjects such as international treaty-making, diplomatic relations, law of seas, etc. Even among the topics covered by these treaties were enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and investment disputes. However, it seems like the world has already…

On 24 October 2019, the European Commission announced that the EU Member States have reached agreement on a plurilateral treaty for the termination of all ca. 190 intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The agreement follows the political Declarations of the Member States issued in January this year in which they explained the consequences they are…

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 Lisbon Treaty granted to the EU the competences on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The exercise of those competences on FDI has not been smooth in the area of Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), in particular, regarding the application of ISDS between a Member State and the investor of another Member State either whether those ISDS…