Sports Arbitration: Federal Supreme Court Finds Against Pechstein, Upholds CAS Arbitration Agreement

220px-Claudia_Pechstein_2008The revolution in sports arbitration has been called off, at least for now: Today, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) reversed the much discussed judgment of the Munich Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) in the case of Claudia Pechstein. Pechstein, the speed skater and five-time Olympic gold medalist, had sued the governing body of her sport, the International Skating Union (ISU) for damages suffered as a result of a doping ban Pechstein believes to be unlawful.The Federal Supreme Court ruled that the action was inadmissible in light of the arbitration agreement between the athlete and the ISU. Continue reading

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Slovakia v. Eureko: German Federal Supreme Court Refers Question of Validity of BIT Arbitration Amongst Member States to the ECJ

433px-Slovakia_coat_of_arms_1939-1945_svgWhether BIT arbitration between EU member states is permitted, as a matter of EU law, is heavily debated. The EU Commission strongly takes the view that there is no room for investment treaty arbitration amongst member states. As previously discussed here, the Commission has intervened in arbitrations in support of the position that the arbitral tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute. Eureko v. Slovakia apparently is the first case where this issue has reached state courts, namely the courts in Germany. Earlier this week, in its second decision on the matter, the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof), published its decision to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice (as I had expected it would). The Court clearly felt obliged to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice, but at the same time was very clear that in its opinion, investment treaty arbitration amongst member states is compatible with EU law. Continue reading

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TV Cameras to Be Allowed in German Courtrooms?

Kassel, BundesarbeitsgerichtThe Federal Ministry of Justice has put forward a proposal that would allow TV cameras into German courtrooms. But before you get all the excited about the prospect of bringing Court TV to Germany, look at the small print: the proposal would allow cameras only into the highest courts of the five branches of the judiciary in Germany*. And the TV cameras would be allowed to roll only when the presiding judge delivers a judgment, but not during a hearing. So what you would see on TV would just be five judges on the bench, with one of them reading a – no doubt well-reasoned – judgment. That’s as exiting as will it get, if the proposal is implemented. Continue reading

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Federal Supreme Court: No Jurisdiction Over Greek Bond Litigation

Coat_of_arms_of_Greece_svg As we mentioned before, the Greek debt crisis has reached the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). In a decision today, the court ruled that claims brought by German holders of Greek bonds in German courts against the Hellenic Republic were inadmissible. The bondholders had sued for damages they suffered as a result of the Greek debt restructuring. Continue reading

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