Intra-EU Investment Arbitration: Frankfurt Court of Appeals Finds BIT-Based Arbitration Inadmissible

An Austrian and a Croatian bank commenced arbitral proceedings against the Republic of Croatia seeking damages on the basis of the 1999 Agreement between the Republic of Austria and the Republic of Croatia for the Promotion and Protection on Investments (BIT); the arbitral tribunal was to be seated in Frankfurt am Main. Croatia applied to the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) to find that the arbitral proceedings were inadmissible (Sec. 1032 para. 2 German Code of Civil Procedure, ZPO). Croatia relied on the 2018 Achmea decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – the well-known case which also originated in the Frankfurt Court of Appeals and came to the ECJ via a reference from the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). Continue reading

Goethe University, Frankfurt: German & International Arbitration Course, Summer Term 2021

Goethe University’s Law School has just announced the details for this year’s course in German and International Arbitration. As you would expect, this year’s edition will be completely virtual, so it might be of interest to students outside Frankfurt as well. Here is the course announcement: Continue reading

Hard Brexit for Judicial Cooperation: No Revival of Brussels, Rome Conventions

Given the activities of the Advisory Commission, with two recommendations and a press release on a default with a couple of weeks, the blog has been rather art law-heavy recently. So for a change, let’s revisit another recurring theme: Brexit! Over at legal twitter, Professor Steve Peers published a “thread on where we stand with EU conclusion of the Brexit deal, based on internal unpublished Council documents.” One of these documents Professor Peers shared is a letter of the UK Mission to the European Union dated 29 January 2021. It reads, in its relevant part, as follows: Continue reading

Art Law: New Recommendation of the Advisory Commission in Rieger v. City of Cologne

From its beginning in 2005 until 2020, the Advisory Commission has issued a total of 18 recommendations, and with one exception, it has never issued more that two recommendations in one year – in 2016, three recommendations were handed down. Given its start into 2021, the Advisory Commission might be on track for a new record. It  started with two recommendations within a couple of days: On 2 February 2021, the Advisory Commission published its decision in Max Fischer v. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, followed by a second recommendation in Heinrich Rieger v. Stadt Köln on 8 February 2021. Continue reading

Art Law: Restitution of Looted Art and the Reform of Private Foundation Law

The restitution case of Fe­lix Hil­des­hei­mer’s heirs against the Ha­ge­mann Foundation made news recently: On 18 January 2021, the Advisory Commission (Limbach Commission) issued a press release that for the first time in its history, a recommendation it had made had not been implemented. The Hildesheimer case also highlighted an argument that the law on private foundations might be an impediment to restitution.  Continue reading

New German Judge at International Court of Justice: Georg Nolte

Today, Georg Nolte takes office as a judge at the International Court of Justice. He was newly elected to a nine-year-term by the United Nation’s General Assembly and the Security Council in November 2020. Nolte currently is a professor of international law at Humboldt University, Berlin, and a member of the International Law Commission.

In support of his candidacy, the German government had published a brochure. It details his vision for the court and this curriculum vitae. The brochure does not mention – quite righly so – this piece of personal trivia: Georg Nolte’s father was Ernst Nolte, a prominent historian best known for Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche (The Three Faces of Fascism, 1963/1965) and the 1980s controversy stirred by his work.

Professor Nolte’s photo has been taken from the brochure.