Today is Brexit Day – What’s New?  

Get ready for brexitToday is Brexit Day. The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. It might be worth looking at what changes as of midnight today. Spoiler alert: Practically speaking, not much. Article 126 of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (Withdrawal Agreement; WA) is short and straightforward: “There shall be a transition or implementation period, which shall start on the date of entry into force of this Agreement and end on 31 December 2020.”

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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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The External Dimension of EU Private International Law, Ferrara, February 13, 2015

Pietro Franzina, University of Ferrara, who has guest-posted here before, has brought this conference to my attention. A first session will look at “Recent developments in the law of EU external relations inside and outside judicial cooperation in civil matters” and a second session focuses on “Developing the external dimension of EU private international law: policies, prospects, techniques.” The conference looks at these issues in the light of Opinion 1/13 of the European Court of Justice. Click here for the programme. It is one of these events (and locations, I may add) where one would like be a graduate student again, with ample time to attend…

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Frankfurt Court of Appeals Upholds BIT Arbitration Clause Again – Eureko v. Slovak Republic, 2nd Round

We have covered these proceedings between the Slovak Republic and Eureko, a Dutch health insurance provider before. At the heart of the matter is the issue whether European law rendered arbitration clauses in intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs), that is, in BITs between EU member states, inapplicable. To the best of my knowledge these are the first court proceedings addressing the issue: In May 2012, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals upheld an arbitral award that ruled on jurisdiction and arbitrability and held that the tribunal had authority to hear damages claims by Eureko against the Slovak Republic under the Netherlands/Czechoslovakia BIT of 1991. Continue reading

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