A European Law Reading of Achmea

Written by Prof. Burkhard Hess, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg.

An interesting perspective concerning the Achmea judgment of the ECJ[1] relates to the way how the Court addresses investment arbitration from the perspective of European Union law. This paper takes up the judgment from this perspective. There is no doubt that Achmea will disappoint many in the arbitration world who might read it paragraph by paragraph while looking for a comprehensive line of arguments. Obviously, some paragraphs of the judgment are short (maybe because they were shortened during the deliberations) and it is much more the outcome than the line of arguments that counts. However, as many judgments of the ECJ, it is important to read the decision in context. In this respect, there are several issues to be highlighted here: (more…)

CJEU on the compatibility with EU law of an arbitration clause in an Intra-EU BIT – Case C-284/16 (Slovak Republic v Achmea BV)

Written by Stephan Walter, Research Fellow at the Research Center for Transnational Commercial Dispute Resolution (TCDR), EBS Law School, Wiesbaden, Germany

Today, the CJEU has rendered its judgement in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV (Case C-284/16). The case concerned the compatibility with EU law of a dispute clause in an Intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the Netherlands and the Slovak Republic which grants an investor the right to bring proceedings against the host state (in casu: the Slovak Republic) before an arbitration tribunal. In concrete terms, the German Federal Court of Justice referred the following three questions to the CJEU (reported here): (more…)

The impact of Brexit on the operation of the EU legislative measures in the field of private international law

On 28 February 2018, the European Commission published the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, based on the Joint Report from the negotiators of the two parties on the progress achieved during the first phase of the Brexit negotiations.

The draft includes a Title VI which specifically relates to judicial cooperation in civil matters. The four provisions in this Title are concerned with the fate of the legislative measures enacted by the EU in this area (and binding on the UK) once the “transition of period” will be over (that is, on 31 December 2020, as stated in Article 121 of the draft).

Article 62 of the draft provides that, in the UK, the Rome I Regulation on the law applicable to contracts and the Rome II Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations will apply, respectively, “in respect of contracts concluded before the end of the transition period” and “in respect of events giving rise to damage which occurred before the end of the transition period”.

Article 63 concerns the EU measures which lay down rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of decisions. These include the Brussels I bis Regulation on civil and commercial matters (as “extended” to Denmark under the 2005 Agreement between the EC and Denmark: the reference to Article 61 in Article 65(2), rather than Article 63, is apparently a clerical error), the Brussels II bis Regulation on matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, and Regulation No 4/2009 on maintenance.

According to Article 63(1) of the draft, the rules on jurisdiction in the above measures will apply, in the UK, “in respect of legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period”. However, under Article 63(2), in the UK, “as well as in the Member States in situations involving the United Kingdom”, Article 25 of the Brussels I bis Regulation and Article 4 of the Maintenance Regulation, which concern choice-of-court agreements, will “apply in respect of the assessment of the legal force of agreements of jurisdiction or choice of court agreements concluded before the end of the transition period”(no elements are provided in the draft to clarify the notion of “involvement”, which also occurs in other provisions).

As regards recognition and enforcement, Article 63(3) provides that, in the UK and “in the Member States in situations involving the United Kingdom”, the measures above will apply to judgments given before the end of the transition period. The same applies to authentic instruments formally drawn up or registered, and to court settlements approved or concluded, prior to the end of such period.

Article 63 also addresses, with the necessary variations, the issues surrounding, among others, the fate of European enforcement orders issued under Regulation No 805/2004, insolvency proceedings opened pursuant to the Recast Insolvency Regulation, European payment orders issued under Regulation No 1896/2006, judgments resulting from European Small Claims Procedures under Regulation No 861/2007 and measures of protection for which recognition is sought under Regulation No 606/2013.

Article 64 of the draft lays down provisions in respect of the cross-border service of judicial and extra-judicial documents under Regulation No 1393/2007 (again, as extended to Denmark), the taking of evidence according to Regulation No 1206/2001, and cooperation between Member States’ authorities within the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters established under Decision 2001/470.

Other legislative measures, such as Directive 2003/8 on legal aid, are the object of further provisions in Article 65 of the draft.


Registration now open: The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention – Bonn University / HCCH Conference (9 and 10 September 2022)


The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention:

Cornerstones – Prospects – Outlook

Registration now open!

Dates:                       Friday, 9 September 2022, and Saturday, 10 September 2022 

Venue:                      Universitätsclub Bonn, Konviktstraße 9, D – 53113 Bonn 


Registration fee: € 200.-
Young Scholars rate (limited capacity): € 100.-
Conference Dinner on 9 September 2022:                         € 50.-

Registration: Please register with Clearly indicate whether you want to benefit from the young scholars’ reduction of the conference fees and whether you want to participate in the conference dinner. You will receive an invoice for the respective conference fee and, if applicable, for the conference dinner. Please make sure that we receive your payment at least two weeks in advance. After receiving your payment we will send out a confirmation of your registration. This confirmation will allow you to access the conference hall and the conference dinner.

Please note: Access will only be granted if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please confirm in your registration that you are, and attach an e-copy of your vaccination document. Please follow further instructions on site. Thank you for your cooperation.

Further information:


Friday, 9 September 2022

8.30 a.m. Registration
9.00 a.m. Welcome notes

Prof Dr Wulf-Henning Roth, Director of the Zentrum für Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany

Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the HCCH


  Part I: Cornerstones

1. Scope of application

Prof Dr Xandra Kramer, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Utrecht University, Netherlands

2. Judgments, Recognition, Enforcement

Prof Dr Wolfgang Hau, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany

3. Indirect jurisdiction

Prof Dr Pietro Franzina, Catholic University of Milan, Italy

4. Grounds for refusal

Dr Marcos Dotta Salgueiro, Adj. Professor of Private International Law, Law Faculty, UR, Uruguay; Director of International Law Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uruguay

5. Trust management: Establishment of relations between Contracting States

Dr João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, First Secretary, HCCH / Dr Cristina Mariottini, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Law Luxemburg


1.00 p.m.


Lunch Break


  Part II: Prospects for the World

1. The HCCH System for choice of court agreements: Relationship of the HCCH Judgments Convention 2019 to the HCCH 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

Prof Dr Paul Beaumont, University of Stirling, United Kingdom

2. European Union

Andreas Stein, Head of Unit, DG JUST – A1 “Civil Justice”, European Commission

3. Canada, USA

Professor Linda J. Silberman, Clarence D. Ashley Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law, New York University School of Law, USA

Professor Geneviève Saumier, Peter M. Laing Q.C. Professor of Law, McGill Faculty of Law, Canada

4. Southeast European Neighbouring and EU Candidate Countries

Prof Dr Ilija Rumenov, Associate Professor at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia

8.00 p.m. Conference Dinner (€ 50.-)

Saturday, 10 September 2022

9.00 a.m. Part II: Prospects for the World (continued)

5. Middle East and North Africa (including Gulf Cooperation Council)

Prof Dr Beligh Elbalti, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Law and Politics at Osaka University, Japan

6. Sub-Saharan Africa (including Commonwealth of Nations)

Prof Dr Abubakri Yekini, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Prof Dr Chukwuma Okoli, Postdoctoral Researcher in Private International Law at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, Netherlands

7. Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR)

Prof Dr Verónica Ruiz Abou-Nigm, Director of Internationalisation, Senior Lecturer in International Private Law, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

8. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Prof Dr Adeline Chong, Associate Professor of Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University, Singapore

9. China (including Belt and Road Initiative)

Prof Dr Zheng (Sophia) Tang, University of Newcastle, United Kingdom


1.00 p.m.


Lunch Break


  Part III: Outlook

1. Lessons from the Genesis of the Judgments Project

Dr Ning Zhao, Senior Legal Officer, HCCH

2. International Commercial Arbitration and Judicial Cooperation in civil matters: Towards an Integrated Approach

José Angelo Estrella-Faria, Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch, International Trade Law Division, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations; Former Secretary General of UNIDROIT

3. General Synthesis and Future Perspectives

Hans van Loon, Former Secretary General of the HCCH

‘Austerity policies and litigation costs reforms’ (Erasmus School of Law, 20 April 2022, online)

In the context of the Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’, the project team (Erasmus School of Law) is organising a series of online seminars dedicated to the Trends and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice.

The next session is scheduled for Wednesday, 20 April 2022 (14:00-16:00 CET) on the topic: Austerity policies and litigation costs reforms.

The relationship between access to justice, efficiency of courts, and litigation costs has never been an easy one. Yet, finding a proper balance has never been more challenging than in recent times. The EU economic crises of the last decade and austerity policies deeply affected justice budgets in several EU Member States and triggered justice reforms, particularly in the area of litigation costs. Building on the experiences of three EU jurisdictions that have been greatly affected by such developments (namely, Greece, Portugal, and Spain), the seminar will assess the impact of austerity measures on access to justice.

Speakers: Panagiotis Perakis (Vice President CCBE), Paula Costa e Silva (Lisbon University), Fernando Gascón Inchausti (Complutense University of Madrid)

To attend the online event, please register here.

With thanks to Adriani Dori for the tip-off.

Conference Programme – Regulation Brussels Ia: a standard for free circulation of judgments and mutual trust in the European Union (JUDGTRUST) 21 and 22 April 2022, The Hague

The final programme of the conference on Regulation Brussels Ia: a standard for free circulation of judgments and mutual trust in the European Union (JUDGTRUST) 21 and 22 April 2022 at The Hague can be found here. A previous post introduced the themes, speakers, moderators and the coordinator of the conference.