Court of Justice of the European Union

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Is Ukraine a “Stranger” to the EU? OPAL Case

In their recent contribution to the Global Trust Working Paper Series, Professor Eyal Benvenisti and Dr. Sivan Shlomo Agon raise one conspicuous, though rarely asked, question within a broader topic of state sovereignty in a globalised world. They wonder how sovereign decision-making powers can be restrained in the face of interests of “strangers”, i.e. third countries, as well as natural and legal persons, to which the effects of national policies “radiate” without allowing them to hold the decision-makers politically accountable. The authors make the first proposition that: “international courts can and in fact do play a role in promoting the duties of states towards strangers affected by their policies, thereby alleviating some of the democratic and accountability deficits associated with globalization” (p.2). Their second proposition is that international courts have developed ways to account for the “interests of affected others from within and outside” their host systems. Both propositions are then tested against the ample practice of the WTO dispute settlement system. The article echoes well…

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A Turning of the Tide against ISDS?

The Court of Justice for the European Union fired a significant shot at investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) this week, and the result is likely to be much more than just a flesh wound. In deciding that the European Union did not have exclusive competence to enter into agreements including ISDS clauses, the Court made it significantly more likely…

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The Brexit Bill and the Law of Treaties

As has been widely reported in the media (e.g. The Guardian, the BBC), the House of Lords reached two main legal conclusions in its March 2017 report on Brexit and the EU budget: Article 50 TEU allows the UK to leave the EU without being liable for outstanding financial obligations under the EU budget…

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The Right to Religious Freedom and the Threat to the Established Order as a Restriction Ground: Some Thoughts on Account of the Achbita Case

On March 15, 2016, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) heard two different cases, the case of Achbita and that of Bougnaoui. As noted here, while both cases had the wearing of the Islamic headscarf at work as a common factual background, the legal questions asked were different. The Achbita case, referred to the ECJ by the Belgian…

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The Constitutional Frontiers of International Economic Law

The End of Mega-Regionalism? The future of ‘mega-regionals’, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has become doubtful since President Trump took office. Through decisions, such as the withdrawal from TPP, he is putting his rhetoric to ‘Make America Great Again’ in action. Yet, the idea to…

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