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Ημερομηνία

Universal jurisdiction and international crimes: Constraints and best practices

17-09-2018

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal jurisdiction in the fight against impunity in Europe. The experts agreed that universal jurisdiction can play a role as part of a wider accountability strategy, complementary to international courts and prosecutions on other jurisdictional bases. They recommended more specialised training for investigators, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement staff for universal jurisdiction cases and more cooperation at EU and international level. Speakers supported the initiative for a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Special attention in universal jurisdiction cases must be given to victims seeking justice, including for sexual and gender-based crimes.

Multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

24-11-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above recommendation, submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. The recommendation aims to pave the way for the creation of a framework for the resolution of international investment disputes. The IA notes that foreign investors and host countries have settled their investment disputes through the Investor-State ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above recommendation, submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. The recommendation aims to pave the way for the creation of a framework for the resolution of international investment disputes. The IA notes that foreign investors and host countries have settled their investment disputes through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, ad hoc arbitration) since the 1950s. In recent years, concerns have been voiced about the ISDS, in particular in the context of the negotiation processes of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (EU-USA) and of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (EU-Canada). Based on the results of the public consultation carried out in 2014, the European Commission presented a plan in May 2015 to reform the investment resolution system. It comprises, as a first step, an institutionalised court system (Investment Court System, ICS) for future EU trade and investment agreements and, as a second step, the establishment of an ‘international investment Court’. According to the IA report, ‘since 2016 the Commission has actively engaged with a large number of partner countries both at a technical and political level to further the reform of the ISDS system and to build a consensus for the initiative of a permanent multilateral investment Court’ (IA, p. 6). In its resolutions of 8 July 2015 on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and of 6 April 2011 on the future European international investment policy, Parliament noted the need to reform the investment dispute settlement mechanism. In its resolution of 5 July 2016 on the future strategy for trade and investment, it supported the aim of creating a ‘multilateral solution to investment disputes’.

Legal Proceedings available to Individuals before the Highest Courts: A Comparative Law Perspective - Canada

06-10-2017

This study is part of a wider project seeking to investigate, from a comparative law perspective, judicial proceedings available to individuals before the highest courts of different states, and before certain international courts. The aim of this study is to examine the various judicial proceedings available to individuals in Canadian law, and in particular before the Supreme Court of Canada. To this end, the text is divided into five parts. The introduction provides an overview of Canadian constitutional ...

This study is part of a wider project seeking to investigate, from a comparative law perspective, judicial proceedings available to individuals before the highest courts of different states, and before certain international courts. The aim of this study is to examine the various judicial proceedings available to individuals in Canadian law, and in particular before the Supreme Court of Canada. To this end, the text is divided into five parts. The introduction provides an overview of Canadian constitutional history, which explains the coexistence of rights derived from several legal traditions. It then introduces the federal system, the origins of constitutional review, as well as the court structure (I). As Canada practises a ‘diffuse’ (or ‘decentralized’) constitutional review process, the second part deals with the different types of proceedings available to individuals in matters of constitutional justice before both administrative and judicial courts, while highlighting proceedings available before the Supreme Court of Canada (II). This is followed by an examination of the constitutional and legal sources of individual — and in some cases collective — rights (III), as well as the means developed by the judiciary, the legislative, and the executive branches to ensure the effective judicial protection of rights (IV). The conclusion assesses the effectiveness of proceedings available to individuals in matters of ‘constitutional justice’. Essentially, while Canadian citizens benefit from a wide range of rights and proceedings, access to the country’s Supreme Court is restricted due to the limited number of cases the Court chooses to hear every year. More generally, access to justice continues to pose real challenges in Canada. This is not due to judicial failings or a lack of sources of rights per se, but rather to lengthy judicial delays and the often enormous costs of proceedings.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

EPRS, Comparative Law

Prospects for a Multilateral Investment Court

14-06-2017

Since 2015, the European Commission has worked on the establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). The purpose of this court is to have a permanent international body that can settle investment disputes between investors and states. The MIC would replace the current system of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) based on ad hoc commercial arbitration, which has become controversial over the past few years.

Since 2015, the European Commission has worked on the establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). The purpose of this court is to have a permanent international body that can settle investment disputes between investors and states. The MIC would replace the current system of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) based on ad hoc commercial arbitration, which has become controversial over the past few years.

The European Patent Office - State of Play

15-04-2015

On invitation of its president, the JURI Committee, on 4-5 May 2015 has visited the European Patent Offices seat in Munich and discussed the state of play of implementation of the new unitary patent, ethical questions of patentability, as well as technical issues deriving from the new challenges after the agreement on a European unitary Patent and in view of ongoing negotiations on international trade partnership agreements. This In–Depth analysis gives some background information on the economic ...

On invitation of its president, the JURI Committee, on 4-5 May 2015 has visited the European Patent Offices seat in Munich and discussed the state of play of implementation of the new unitary patent, ethical questions of patentability, as well as technical issues deriving from the new challenges after the agreement on a European unitary Patent and in view of ongoing negotiations on international trade partnership agreements. This In–Depth analysis gives some background information on the economic importance and nature of patents, of the new Unitary patent, the legal foundation of the Office, as well as the ways of protecting this intellectual property right.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) - State of play and prospects for reform

26-01-2015

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are found in more than 3 000 international investment treaties, but have been increasingly criticised in recent years. International investment agreements, and the ISDS mechanism, were originally created to protect investors from arbitrary expropriation and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for foreign investments, in countries considered risky. In such countries, with the judiciary not fully independent from government, arbitration was considered ...

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are found in more than 3 000 international investment treaties, but have been increasingly criticised in recent years. International investment agreements, and the ISDS mechanism, were originally created to protect investors from arbitrary expropriation and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for foreign investments, in countries considered risky. In such countries, with the judiciary not fully independent from government, arbitration was considered a more neutral framework to ensure enforcement of the host state's obligations towards investors. The progress made on comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) between the EU and Canada and the United States – in both cases including provisions for ISDS – has intensified discussion on the mechanism in the EU. A number of doubts exist with respect to the impartiality of arbitrators, while the relative broad interpretation given to the provision has been considered to have substantially reduced states' freedom to regulate, creating an imbalance between the investor's right to protection and the host state' sovereign right to regulate its market. The EU supports ISDS arbitration in general, while recognising the need for its reform. Indeed a consensus seems to be emerging on systemic problems found in this increasingly used system. That has led the European Commission to propose some innovative provisions in the framework of negotiations on EU trade and investment agreements, but without calling into question the ISDS system itself. This is an updated version of a briefing published in January 2014.

Responsibility in Investor-State Arbitration in the EU - Managing Financial Responsibility Linked to Investor-State Dispute Settlement Tribunals Established by EU's International Investment Agreements

03-12-2012

The Lisbon Treaty extends exclusive European Union competence to foreign direct investment (FDI). In this context the issue of dispute settlement will be included in future EU Investment Agreements. For such situations the European Commission has put forward a draft proposal on how financial responsibility could be shared between the EU and/or a Member State (MS). The proposal aims to address possible conflicts that may arise between the EU/Commission and the respective MS when claims are brought ...

The Lisbon Treaty extends exclusive European Union competence to foreign direct investment (FDI). In this context the issue of dispute settlement will be included in future EU Investment Agreements. For such situations the European Commission has put forward a draft proposal on how financial responsibility could be shared between the EU and/or a Member State (MS). The proposal aims to address possible conflicts that may arise between the EU/Commission and the respective MS when claims are brought under investment agreements or chapters concluded between the EU (or the EU and its MSs) and a third state. Moreover, the proposal deals with the representation of the EU or MS in arbitral proceedings. The study provides background under public international law by setting out the responsibility of states and international organisations, and considers the financial reimbursement laws and policies of several federal states. Further analysis is provided on the proposal’s respective provisions on financial distribution, respondent status, settlement and the technical aspects of reimbursement. Particular attention is given to the external competence of the EU in relation to the internal competences of MSs, specifically with regard to standards of treatment. Other issues addressed include executive federalism with respect to allocating financial responsibility and the balance between unity of external representation and MS' interests. The conclusions are largely based on the issue of internal/external competence, acknowledging the importance of the language of future investment agreements and chapters in clarifying some of these technical aspects.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Christian TIETJE, Emily SIPIORSKI and Grit TÖPFER (Law School of University Halle, Germany)

Development of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism

25-09-2012

The study examines developments concerning human rights mechanism(s) in the Southeast Asian region, in the space known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a view to strengthening relations between the European Union and the region. The ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has now been set up as the overarching body to promote and protect human rights in the ASEAN. Two sectoral bodies working on human rights have also appeared: the ASEAN Commission for ...

The study examines developments concerning human rights mechanism(s) in the Southeast Asian region, in the space known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a view to strengthening relations between the European Union and the region. The ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has now been set up as the overarching body to promote and protect human rights in the ASEAN. Two sectoral bodies working on human rights have also appeared: the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW). The study thus makes a number of recommendations to European institutions to help strengthen the mechanisms mentioned, while building also other checks and balances, including national human rights institutions. The door is open to a regional Declaration and or treaty on human rights, and a regional court. Various recommendations are also targeted to the European Parliament, including to help support parliamentarians in the ASEAN region to integrate human rights into their work.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Vitit MUNTARBHORN (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)

The Relation between National Courts and the European Court of Justice in the European Union Judicial system

02-02-2007

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

20-02-2020
What is our political nature? Knowledge and reason in political decision-making
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