International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union – Brussels I, Brexit and Beyond

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With a comprehensive and informative manuscript, in International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union – Brussels I, Brexit and Beyond (Edward Elgar, 2020, 320 pp.: see here a previous announcement of the publication) Chukwudi Ojiegbe provides a wide-ranging overview of the status quo of international commercial arbitration in the European Union, also duly taking into account the effects arising, in this specific area of the law, from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

By means of a detailed historical and policy-oriented reconstruction, the Author assesses the history of the Brussels I Recast as it pertains to the provision on the arbitration exclusion. With careful analysis, he considers the implications of the nuanced and debated interface between arbitration and litigation in accordance with the Brussels I Regime as well as the consequences of such interface for the EU exclusive external competence in aspects of international commercial arbitration. Against this background, and further contributing to this complex area of the law, he sets out the findings on the impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

In anticipation of a possible future recast of the Brussels I Regime, the Author argues in favour of the inclusion of specific rules that will allow the Member State court with jurisdiction under the Brussels I Regime the possibility of staying the litigation in favour of the arbitral tribunal. As he observes, the coordination between the jurisdiction of the courts of the Member States and arbitral tribunals would increase legal certainty, alleviating the problem of parallel court/arbitration proceedings and the risk of conflicting decisions.

Overall, this volume contributes clarity and advances the academic debate on the EU arbitration/litigation interface. By offering clear historical reconstructions and putting forth solutions to this longstanding problem, it will undoubtedly prove to be of interest to scholars and practitioners but it will also be a useful source for students who wish to deepen their understanding of this area of the law.

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