POSTS BY Gesa Kübek

CETA’s Investment Court System and the Autonomy of EU Law: Insights from the Hearing in Opinion 1/17

On 26 June 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held its hearing in Opinion 1/17, which concerns the compatibility of CETA’s Investment Court System (ICS) with EU law. Due to the depth of the substantive issues covered and the length of hearing, this post only addresses the first of four questions posed to the ECJ by Belgium, which relates to the principle of autonomy. It is fair to say though that autonomy-related questions and arguments featured the hearing most prominently and may therefore be particularly contentious.

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The Singapore Opinion or the End of Mixity as We Know It

Last week on Tuesday, with its decision in Opinion 2/15, on the Union’s competence to conclude ‘new generation’ EU trade and investment agreements, the Court dropped a bombshell. The Court’s ruling is set to significantly simplify the EU’s international economic relations with third countries. If the Commission, the Council and the member states had demanded clarity as to which institutions may legitimately pursue the Union’s external action objectives in its commercial relations: clarity is what they earned. The decision indeed has the potential to greatly facilitate an ‘EU-only’ signing and conclusion of future EU trade agreements. At the same time, as we argue below, the Court’s reasoning entails a number of contradicting elements that may add confusion over the legal parameters of post-Lisbon EU external relations conduct.

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