Opponents of the planned free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States are keeping a close eye on anything to do with arbitration courts.
After all, the model they sharply criticize as “parallel justice” beyond the reach of government jurisdiction is still on the table as part of the negotiations for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, known as TTIP.
They will therefore undoubtedly be aware of the fact that Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has submitted questions to the European Court of Justice on the effectiveness of arbitration agreements in bilateral investment protection treaties between European Union member states.
“The case is rather small, and the amount in controversy is relatively small, but the decision will be extremely exciting,” explained Markus Burianski, who heads the department that handles national and international arbitration proceedings at the law firm of White & Case in Frankfurt.
In the case in question, the Netherlands and the former Czechoslovakia had signed a bilateral investment protection treaty, or BIT, in 1991.