In a recent judgment dated 14 March 2024, European Commission v UK Case C-516/22, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled that the UK failed to comply with its obligations under EU law (the “CJEU Judgment”). A casual reader may wonder how this could be. After all, the UK officially left the…

As part of Day 1 of Paris Arbitration Week (“PAW”), Laborde Law held its first PAW event of the week at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, which included two panels addressing issues related to investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”). The first panel discussed “ISDS Enforcement War Stories and Lessons”, and the topic of the second panel was…

In line with the Blog’s tradition of “year-in-review” series, this post looks back at some of the key investor-State arbitration developments that took place in Europe in 2023 as we covered them on the Blog (for relevant previous Year-in-Review coverage, see here and here). With the developments in the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty…

On February 2, 2024, the United States filed an amicus brief (the “Amicus”) responding to a request from the United States (“US”) Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to provide the US’ position regarding the enforcement of three “intra-EU” investment arbitration awards issued under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) against the Kingdom of Spain….

The English High Court’s judgment in Infrastructure Services v Spain is one of the most important developments of the past year in relation to the enforcement of intra-EU investment awards. It arises out of the Luxembourgish and Dutch claimants’ successful ICSID arbitration against Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”), in which the tribunal held…

Seven years ago, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) set off an avalanche that buried most of the European investment arbitration landscape. The BGH’s order of June 3rd 2016 referred to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) a long debated question: Are intra-EU investment arbitrations compatible with EU law? They are not,…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in Komstroy (C-741/19, Sept, 2021) that the dispute resolution mechanism of the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) does not apply in intra-EU investment disputes. The ruling was interpreted by some as the beginning of the end of intra-EU investment arbitration. A recent decision by the…

Amid a push for more decisive action toward energy transition, countries around the world are facing pressure to innovate and adopt sweeping legislative amendments, all while trying to avoid investment claims by foreign investors affected by the changing regulatory frameworks. Among the countries performing this balancing act, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Western Balkans countries…

The Amsterdam district court has recently refused to order the termination of a London-seated intra-EU investment arbitration against Poland. Whilst the outcome of the judgment is hardly surprising, the decision contains some interesting thoughts on the ‘desirability’ of the Achmea decision. This blog will discuss the current status of Achmea in the case law of…

The Second Edition of the World Arbitration Update (WAU) took place from September 26 to September 30, 2022. This post highlights the panel on “Taking Stock of the ECT Modernization Process: Fit for the 21st Century?”. The panel was moderated by WAW Co-founder José Antonio Rivas (Xtrategy LLP/Georgetown Law). He was joined by Daniela-Olivia Ghicajanu (Georgetown…

The Centre for International Law and Governance, University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with Hasselt University and Seven Summits Arbitration, recently hosted an expert roundtable on “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) at a Crossroads”. The discussion, moderated by the three authors of this post, focused on the relationship between investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), investment protection, modernization…

On 1 September 2022, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne (“HRC Cologne”) issued two much-awaited decisions granting the Netherlands’ requests (see our report here) to have the German claimants’, RWE and Uniper, ECT-based ICSID arbitrations declared inadmissible pursuant to section 1032(2) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (“ZPO”) due to their intra-EU nature. As we reported,…

On 30 June 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR” or “the Court”) delivered its judgment in BTS Holding, a.s. v. Slovakia (“BTS”), a case concerning the non-enforcement in Slovakia of a Paris-seated ICC commercial arbitration award.  Although there is nothing particularly ground-breaking in the Court’s key findings, the judgment has caught the attention…

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…

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…

A recent decision of the Lithuanian Supreme Court (Civil case No. e3K-3-121-916/2022, 18 January 2022, hereinafter the “LSC judgement”) adds another episode to the long saga of implementing the Achmea  decision. The Lithuanian decision once again confirms the end of the BITs era in Europe and turns to national courts as well as to the…

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…

Looking back on 2021, one realizes that for those interested in the intersection between EU law and investment arbitration, it was a busy year. As part of our customary “year-in-review” series, this post offers a brief overview of the key investment arbitration-related developments in Europe and their coverage on the Blog. I have grouped these…

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…

Western European countries have taken divergent approaches to dealing with the consequences of shutting down power plants while transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. On one side, Germany resolved the resulting compensation disputes by making settlement payments to the owners of affected nuclear and coal power plants. In contrast, the Netherlands appears reluctant to similarly compensate…

According to Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, the Micula case is symbolic of the ‘conflictual relationship’ between EU law and international investment law. Indeed, the European Commission has persistently objected to the execution of the ICSID award issued in Micula, not because of the principles of autonomy and mutual trust that underpinned the Achmea judgment, but…