Arbitration Links - Linklaters
  • Topic: Investment Arbitration
  • Jurisdiction: Europe

The changing landscape of intra-EU investment protection: latest communication by the European Commission and other post-Achmea developments

31 July 2018 Kirstin Schwedt; Maximilian Reichert, Europe

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In the wake of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (“CJEU”) judgment in Achmea, the European Commission recently communicated that “EU investors cannot invoke intra-EU BITs” or the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) for intra-EU investments and advertised alternative remedies available under EU law. Meanwhile, ICSID tribunals have continued to render awards on intra-EU investment disputes and a court in Stockholm is considering a preliminary reference to the CJEU with respect to the ECT (for further background see our previous posts on Achmea here, here and here.) But even five months after Achmea and numerous contributions to the debate on its interpretation, the pivotal questions remain unanswered.

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Interview with Matthew Weiniger and Campbell McLachlan on International Investment Arbitration – Substantive Principles, Second Edition

14 June 2018 Matthew Weiniger, Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; North America

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Last month, Dispute Resolution Partner and Global Co-Head of International Arbitration, Matthew Weiniger was interviewed, together with Professor Campbell McLachlan of the Victoria University of Wellington, by The Arbitration Station.  They were discussing the second edition of their book International Investment Arbitration – Substantive Principles, co-authored with Laurence Shore. In the interview, Matthew and Campbell describe their objectives behind the text and how developments have shaped investment arbitration in the 10 years since the first edition was published.

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Intra-EU investment arbitration post-Achmea: A look at the additional remedies offered by the ECHR and EU law

24 April 2018 Guillaume Croisant; Xavier Taton, Europe

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In its landmark Achmea case, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) found the arbitration provision of the bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) between the Netherlands and Slovakia to be incompatible with EU law (see our previous post for a first analysis).

This decision potentially affects the roughly 200 BITs concluded between the EU Member States, although its overall implications are far from clear. Against that background, however, investors in EU Member States who object to State measures which have impacted their investments elsewhere in the EU might be expected to look for additional routes to a remedy. What might these be? Two which stand out for closer analysis in particular are the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) and the fundamental principles of EU law.

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CJEU judgment in Slovak Republic v. Achmea BV: intra-EU BITs incompatible with EU law

13 March 2018 Julia Grothaus; Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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In the much anticipated judgment of 6 March 2018 (Case C-284/16), the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) found the arbitration provision of the bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) between the Netherlands and Slovakia to be incompatible with EU law. As the decision potentially affects not less than 196 BITs between EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs”), it is likely to have significant consequences for the world of intra-EU BIT arbitration. Yet, its overall implications are far from clear, so that the judgment will loom large for some time to come.

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Mauritius Convention on transparency enters into force

25 January 2018 Sadie Buls, Asia-Pacific; Europe; North America

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The United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the "Mauritius Convention") entered into force on 18 October 2017. An important development in investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”), the Mauritius Convention significantly expands the circumstances in which new transparency provisions – concerning arbitration commencement, publication of documents, third-party input, public hearings and confidential information – may apply. While it will be some time before the Mauritius Convention has broad application, it represents an important evolution for ISDS which has significant implications for States and investors alike.

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The European Commission proposes a move towards a Multilateral Investment Court System

27 October 2017 Guillaume Croisant; Matthew Weiniger, Europe

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The European Commission has recently requested authorisation to launch negotiations to establish a permanent Multilateral Investment Court, which would hear investment disputes under existing and future trade agreements entered into between the EU Member States and third countries. This new court could also replace the Investment Court System provided for by CETA, whose compatibility with EU law will be reviewed by the European Court of Justice following a request introduced by Belgium on 6 September 2017.

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Advocate General Wathelet endorses intra-EU BITs

27 September 2017 Julia Grothaus; Dr. Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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In a much anticipated opinion in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV (Case C-284/16), Advocate General (“AG”) Wathelet has fostered investor-state arbitration under bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) between EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs”) by concluding that the arbitration clause in Article 8 of the 1991 Netherlands-Slovakia BIT is compatible with EU law, and that arbitral tribunals established thereunder may refer issues of EU law to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for preliminary rulings.

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Micula brothers’ ICSID award stayed in the UK following the European Commission state aid decision

17 March 2017 Duncan Hedar, England & Wales; Europe

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Following an application by Romania and the European Commission (as intervener), the English High Court has stayed enforcement of an ICSID award in favour of Swedish business magnates the Micula brothers.  The case will be determined following the decision of the General Court of the European Union in connected proceedings brought by the Micula brothers to annul the Commission’s determination that the payment of the ICSID award by Romania would amount to illegal State aid.    The case raises important questions about the effectiveness of ICSID awards in circumstances where the awards clash with Member States’ obligations under EU law.

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