In a judgment dated 3 April 2024, the Swiss Supreme Court (the “SSC”) rejected Spain’s challenge of an arbitral award rendered in an intra-EU arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty (the “ECT”). This post addresses the most salient point of this decision, i.e. the SSC’s rejection of the Achmea and Komstroy judgments of the Court…

On 21 December 2023 the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down its decision in Case C-124/21 P, International Skating Union v. European Commission. The CJEU agreed with the 16 December 2020 judgment of the General Court of the EU (“GCEU”), and with the  European Commission in CASE AT. 40208 International Skating…

The review mechanism of sports arbitration in Switzerland is under scrutiny. After previous criticism from a human rights perspective, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), in its recent International Skating Union (“ISU”) decision, found that the standard of review applied by the Swiss Federal Court (“SFC”) to mandatory arbitration awards by the…

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…

The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) set off a heated debate when it vacated an arbitral award based on the false application of certain sections of the German Competition Act (GWB) on September 27, 2022 (BGH KZB 75/21), conducting a full review of the arbitral award on the merits. German practitioners were concerned that…

On 7 July 2023, the European Commission issued its proposal for a Council decision on the withdrawal of the European Union from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The proposal comes more than 6 months after the Commission-sponsored ECT modernization package failed to be adopted and perhaps undermines any hope that a modernized ECT will be…

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 modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has been debated among scholars, with some supporting it and others criticizing the process and outcome. The vote on the modernization was postponed indefinitely due to ongoing debates about the Treaty’s future, including various withdrawals from it. The modernization process encapsulates broader reform efforts and attempts to…

International arbitration proceedings typically involve fact-sensitive and technically complex transnational disputes, and usually require large legal teams, multiple expert and fact witnesses, making the costs skyrocket. In this scenario, a party lacking the necessary funds might decide not to pursue a legitimate claim. This limited access to arbitral justice is concerning from a policy standpoint,…

Seeing the Agreement in Principle on Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) “modernization” and its leaked full text, the “modernization” misnomer can safely be abandoned. The renegotiated ECT does not rise to the mounting global challenges regarding energy investment, climate action, and sustainable development. The ECT reform process missed the mark in nature, scope, ambition, and speed…

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…

Negotiations towards a modernized Energy Charter Treaty (ECT, Treaty) ended on 24 June 2022, with the States Parties reaching an agreement in principle following discussions towards reform that began in November 2017. While the final text of the modernized Treaty has not yet been published, the Secretariat of the ECT in June issued a public…

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….

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…

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…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the two legal orders of on the one hand, international investment law (i.e., International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and investor-State arbitration provisions (ISDS)), and on the other hand, EU law, were peacefully co-existing next to each other with only occasional contact. Indeed, it was the time when the…

In a recent judgment of the General Court (the “GC”) in joined cases – T-639/14 RENV, T-352/15 and T-740/17, the question of the clash between EU law (in this case, state aid legislation) and arbitration was discussed. Not surprisingly, from an EU law standpoint, the EU Courts once again found that in case of such…

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), agreed in principle in December 2020, was announced with great fanfare. Forged after seven years of negotiations between the world’s current largest trading block (the EU) and the country expected to have the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade (China), the CAI was set to…

The annual Fordham Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation took place virtually on 20 November 2020, the final day of the second annual New York Arbitration Week. Under the guidance of co-chairs Louis B. Kimmelman (Sidley Austin, New York) and Edna Sussman (Independent Arbitrator and Mediator and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Fordham Law School), the…

In its judgment of 26 November 2019 (I ACa 457/18), the Warsaw Court of Appeal gave its view on the duties of arbitrators and counsel in cases involving state aid. In a well-argued decision, the Court reversed the decision of the lower court and annulled an award rendered by a prominent international tribunal on the…

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has recently become a household name, moving from the oblivion of the 1990s, when the treaty was drafted, to one of the most hotly debated topics in legal (and other) circles nowadays. Some have demonized it as an instrument for the corporate usurpation of democratic functions, such as the host…

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…