In a judgment dated 22 June 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled that liability claims against arbitrators fall within the “arbitration exception” of Article 1(2)(d) of the Brussels I recast regulation, leading to the application of French private international law rules to determine the competent courts. The Paris Court of Appeal further considered that…

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), concluded on 24 December 2020 and provisionally applicable since the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, regulates the relationship of the EU and the UK after Brexit. It forms a basis for an evolving relationship between the Parties and may further change, depending on scrutiny…

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…

In a decision likely to enthuse investors willing to enforce intra-EU ICSID awards in the UK, the UK Supreme Court unanimously held yesterday that the UK’s enforcement obligations under the ICSID Convention could not be affected by the EU duty of sincere co-operation (in this case, the question of whether the award obtained by the…

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…

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…

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…

Background In October 2017, in the wake of Brexit, Belgium was one of the first European jurisdictions to announce its intention to set up a specialised English-speaking court with jurisdiction over international commercial disputes, the Brussels International Business Court (“BIBC”). The stated aim of this new court is to position Brussels as a new hub…

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…

Last week, Theresa May delivered her long-awaited speech setting out Britain’s broad objectives in forthcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU. She confirmed the rumours of a “hard Brexit” by indicating Her Majesty’s Government’s intention to see the UK out from the Single Market and the Custom Union and to seek “a new and equal partnership…

Although a bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) arbitration and an application made before the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) could, at first glance, present opposite objectives, investors alleging a violation of their rights by a State may be inclined to make use of both remedies. As it will be elaborated below, the case law…