Save the Date: 26 June 2018 Colloquium "W(h)ither ISDS? The Impact of Achmea on Pending Arbitrations under Member States' BITs and the Energy Charter Treaty"

Colloquium co-organized by ICCA and the Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date: 26 June 2018
Time: 10:30 - 17:00
Venue: Faculty of Law, UvA, Room A.3.15, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam
Moderator: Prof. Stephan Schill, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Center for International Law


Confirmed speakers:
Prof. George Bermann (Columbia Law School)
Prof. Catherine Kessedjian (University Panthéon-Assas Paris II)
Prof. Jan Kleinheisterkamp (London School of Economics)
Prof. Stefan Talmon (20 Essex Street, University of Bonn)
Dr. Angelos Dimopoulos (Queen Mary University of London)


Registration: The registration fee is €120 including lunch. Please complete your details here to apply for registration.


On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down one of the most important and controversial judgments for international arbitration in decades. In Achmea (C-284/16 – ECLI:EU:C:2018:158), the Grand Chamber of the Court held that the investor-state arbitration mechanism under the Netherlands-Slovakia BIT is incompatible with EU law. However, far from creating legal certainty and providing clear answers on the fate of intra-EU BIT arbitration, the Court’s ruling raises numerous questions, in particular as to its legal consequences for the many pending arbitrations under other intra-EU BITs and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).


Are investment arbitrations in all of these cases incompatible with EU constitutional law and who has to determine this? What exactly does EU law require of arbitral tribunals in such cases? Should they decline jurisdiction in such cases and give precedence to EU law? Or should tribunals proceed and rely on the continued validity of intra-EU BITs and the ECT? Does the seat of the arbitration (inside or outside the EU) make a difference in determining the impact of Achmea? Do the applicable rules (whether ICSID or non-ICSID) matter? These and other questions of high practical importance for investment arbitration remained unanswered in Achmea, thus risking inconsistent decisions by arbitral tribunals in making calls on the relationship between EU law and investment arbitration.


The present Colloquium, co-hosted by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), will provide a high-level forum for the discussion and clarification of these issues. It will shed light on the implications of the Achmea ruling for pending intra-EU disputes, whether under BITs or based on the ECT. It provides both in-depth analysis on, and a forum for discussion of, the involved issues for arbitration practitioners and scholars, both from the perspectives of EU (constitutional) law and the law of investment arbitration. Following presentations by invited high-level experts, the Colloquium will allow ample space for discussion and interaction among participants.