Reforms to the Energy Charter Treaty: Rebalancing International Investment Law or a Step Too Far?

David Collins

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a multi-party investment treaty covering investment in the energy sector. Established in the 1990s, the ECT has over 50 signatories, including the UK. The ECT contains many of the traditional protections for foreign investment found in international investment agreements (IIAs), and much like international investment law generally, the treaty has been subjected to widespread criticism in recent years. The ECT has been particularly vilified for its alleged failure to deal with climate change by maintaining extensive protections for industries that supposedly contribute to this global problem.

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The Gendered Aspect of Brexit

When the UK went to the polls on 23 June, 2016 and voted to leave the European Union, the millions of EU citizens who were resident in the UK but unable to take part in the referendum were suddenly faced with a life-changing loss of rights. The end of freedom movement threatened their livelihoods and their very status as UK residents in the post-Brexit world. Continue reading

Green Shipping: IMO Ambitions and the Need for Pluralistic Governance Solutions

Pia Rebelo

Negotiations at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are underway against the backdrop of COP27, the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. This is the last COP before the IMO is set to decide its revised Greenhous Gas (GHG) strategy in the Spring of 2023 at the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s eightieth session (MEPC 80). The revised strategy is crucial as the IMO’s Fourth GHG Study has revealed that international shipping is currently set to increase its emissions to 90-130% of its 2008 emissions by 2050. Whilst various stakeholders are awaiting details on the IMO’s mid-term and long-term measures to strengthen its ambition, states in the Global North are making big pledges to roll out end-to-end decarbonised shipping routes known as “Green Corridors”. This follows commitments at COP26 to the Clydebank Declaration, an undertaking from governments to facilitate partnerships for the establishment of green routes and enabling infrastructure. The UK also recently showed its commitment to green shipping by setting aside £60 million for innovative clean maritime technologies as part of its Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (which is now in round 3).

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Introducing the EUFutures Research Network: Inter-Disciplinary Approaches to Connecting EU Law, Policy and Politics

Professor Elaine Fahey, Dr Fabien Terpan, and Dr Rebecca Zahn

The future of EU legal integration is at a significant juncture with the departure of the UK, substantial rule of law challenges, internal and external crises, and an increasingly apathetic multilateral legal order. There is increased recognition amongst EU lawyers, who have historically limited themselves to doctrinal analysis and legal hermeneutics, that methodology plays an essential role in order to understand EU integration and shape its future (van Gestel & Micklitz, 2014). Certain schools now advocate that the future of EU law must become more methodologically grounded to realise its scientific benefits and to broaden the reach of lawyers beyond the doctrinal (Dyevre, Wijtvliet & Lampach, 2019). For example, anthropological and sociological approaches have given us a sense of how various national and international actors use EU law to achieve their goals (Vauchez & De Witte, 2013). Quantitative studies have offered new insights into the practices of courts and the effectiveness of legislative design (Larsson and Naurin, 2016; Larsson et al. 2017).

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Lindt’s chocolate bunny trademark win shows shape matters to consumers

Enrico Bonadio, City, University of London and Alina Trapova, University of Nottingham

In a move sure to upset chocoholics everywhere, discount supermarket Lidl was recently told to destroy its stocks of chocolate bunnies. The cull was ordered by a Swiss court that decided Lidl’s bunny was too close to confectioner Lindt’s iconic chocolate rabbit.

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The EU as a Global Digital Actor: Institutionalising Global Data Protection, Trade, and Cybersecurity

Elaine Fahey 

In my recently published book, The EU as a Global Digital Actor: Institutionalising Global Data Protection, Trade, and Cybersecurity I have sought to try to capture a range of issues emerging as to the EU’s digital and international relations agenda.

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Legal London: Exploring London’s Role as Global Legal City

Jed Odermatt and David Seymour

On 23 September 2022 the City Law School held its Research & Enterprise Day on the theme of Legal London. The event was an opportunity to highlight the research, teaching and scholarship at City Law School and to develop links across the University, professions and the wider community.

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When Environmental Issues Appear in International Investment Arbitration: Saar Papier Vertriebs GmbH v. Republic of Poland (I)

Sekander Zulker Nayeen

The concept of international investment law evolved mainly for the purpose of giving protection to foreign investment. That is why only investors can bring a claim of breach of protection standards before the investment arbitral tribunal and the tribunal only follows the concerned International Investment Agreements (IIAs) to determine such breach. However, with the advent of the concept of sustainable development, nowadays, environmental protection of a host State has become a major concern in competition with the investment protection before the investor-state arbitral tribunal. States are now frequently claiming the prevalence of their regulatory power for environmental protection over investment protection. In some cases, for example Glamis v US, the tribunal’s decision was influenced by the State’s regulatory power for environmental protection. In some recent cases, for example Burlington v Ecuador and Perenco  v Ecuador, environmental issues arose with some separate standing. In these cases, the tribunals entertained host States’ counterclaims and awarded compensation against the investors. In such backdrop, I would like to have a detour in an arbitral decision wherein environmental issues were raised by the State for the first time. I want to look back how the tribunal had decided that case.

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Green Power and SCE Solar v Spain: From the Primacy of EU Law to Lex Superior

Jed Odermatt

In the arbitration proceedings in Green Power Partners K/S & SCE Solar Don Benito APS v Spain (SCC 2016/135) the tribunal decided that it has no jurisdiction to hear and decide the claims before it. This finding is important because it is the first time that an arbitral tribunal has accepted the so-called ‘intra-EU’ objection to admissibility of claims between EU Member States.

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The UK Intellectual Property Office’s Consultation on Computer-Generated Works

Patrick Goold

The UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 contains an odd section concerning ‘computer-generated works’. Section 9(2) of the Act states that when a work has no ‘human author’ and is generated by a computer, the work ought to be protected by copyright for 50 years, with the copyright owned by the person who made the necessary ‘arrangements’ for the work’s generation.

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