Article, Brexit, Commentary

Exercises de style – Reflections on Brexit

Luigi Lonardo

The goliardic vein of our editors, blended with the tedium vitae that assails at least one of them in this season in which the year dies most sweetly, has produced a couple of reflections on Brexit presented in the form of Exercises in Style – written, that is, alla maniera di Joseph de Maistre.

Joseph de Maistre, 1753-1821, was a Savoyard diplomat and politician, a sturdy anti-rationalist reactionary voice of the counter-enlightenment, who wrote against the French revolution and in favour of the Monarchy as divinely sanctioned form of government.

The following is a translation – with worryingly minor amendments – of the initial pages of de Maistre’s Considerations sur la France (1797)

Reflections sur le Royaume Uni

A short essay on Brexit in the style of de Maistre.

A miracle is an effect produced by a divine cause that suspends an ordinary cause. If, in the middle of the winter, a man orders a tree, in front of thousands of witnesses, to cover itself immediately with leaves and fruits, and the tree obeys, everyone would consider it a miracle, and look at it in awe, and bow in front of the performer. Well Brexit is as awesome, in the realm of politics, as the instantaneous fructification of a tree in the month of January: and yet people, instead of admiring it, look elsewhere, or make foolish commentaries.

Men, led by their pride, see disorder when they do not understand the cause of something, or when the causal chain they tried to create is suspended, or when things do not go as they expected them to. The truth is that they are necessarily limited, since they are mortal creatures, and equally limited is their action, especially at revolutionary times such as the ones we are living.

Uncertainty is the key word of the times. This word is very meaningful if it is meant as a reminder of the prime cause that creates such a spectacle; but it is stupid if it only expresses a sense of despise for out times or our politicians, or a sterile disenchantment.

‘How come – we read everywhere – that a country famous for her political leadership, her stable and much-admired parliamentary system, her seriousness and conscientiousness has taken such a decision! How can politicians, who appear to be the ineptest of their generation, be put in charge of guiding such a momentous change! An opportunistic mayor, a clever and deceitful political class, they hold the country in their hands! The European Union is swallowed by both government and opposition! Everything is possible for the evil ones!’

Look, never is certainty more visible, never Providence is more present, than when superior action substitute itself to that of men, and acts by herself. What is most striking about Brexit, is its sheer force that seems to destroy all obstacles. It is a hurricane that swifts away as light hay everything that human force has been able to oppose to it: nobody was able to stop it. The purity of the motivations has perhaps shown the obstacle: but that is all; and this zealous force, proceedings irresistibly toward its goal, has rejected Miller, a second referendum, etc.

One ought to say that Brexit leads men more than men lead Brexit. This is correct, and even though we could say the same about all great revolutions, it has never been truer than in this context. The fools who appear to lead Brexit only enter into it as instruments; as soon as they have the presumption to dominate it, the fall ignobly. Those who wanted to deliver Brexit did so without really wanting it and without knowing what they were doing.

Excessively mediocre men such as Nigel Farage have exercised, on a guilty nation, a despicable form of despotism: and surely, they were the first to be shocked by their own success. But they were drawn to this success, unwittingly, by circumstances. And Providence has thrown them away, and wanted to put Theresa May in charge instead. Their faith in Brexit, they who are men without political intelligence, has led them to dare anything, without fear of a Remain campaign. They have kept marching forward, without looking back. And so far everything has succeeded for them, because they are the instrument of a force that knows better.

News/notes, Recent publication

RECENT PUBLICATIONS IN THE FIELD OF EU LAW

 

The editors of the KSLR EU Law Blog are pleased to announce recent publications in the field of EU law with a special discount for our readers.

 

 

The Transformation of Economic Law

Essays in Honour of Hans-W. Micklitz

Edited by Lucila de Almeida, Marta Cantero Gamito, Mateja Durovic and Kai Peter Purnhagen

 

This book is written in honour of Hans-W. Micklitz for his jubilee 70th birthday and the closure of his twelve-year term as the Chair for Economic Law at the European University Institute (EUI). Hans-W. Micklitz has gained international recognition for dedicating his extensive and fruitful career to diverse areas of law: European Economic Law, European Private Law, National and European Consumer Law, Legal Theory, theories of Private Law and Social Justice. This book is a product of the collaborative endeavors of its contributors, who all have a special connection with Hans W. Micklitz as his doctoral supervisees or research assistants. The collection of twenty chapters is to be read as the influence of Hans’s dialogues in the early stage of the academic career of thirty-one young legal scholars. The volume is divided into three sections devoted to subjects that have received Hans’s attention while at the EUI: EU Consumer Law (part I); European Private Law and Access Justice (part II); the CJEU between the individual citizen and the Member States (part III).

 

Lucila de Almeida is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki, and Research Fellow at the Florence School of Regulation, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute.

Marta Cantero Gamito is Assistant Professor of Law at CUNEF (Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros, Madrid) and part-time Associate Professor in IT Law at the University of Tartu.

Mateja Durovic is Lecturer in Contract and Commercial Law at Dickson Poon School of Law of King’s College London.

Kai Peter Purnhagen is Associate Professor in Law at Wageningen University.

 

September 2019   |   9781509932580   |   432pp   |   Hardback   |    RSP: £95

Discount Price: £76

Order online at www.hartpublishing.co.uk – use the code CV7 at the checkout to get 20% off your order!

 

Constitutional Law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy

Competence and Institutions in External Relations

Graham Butler

 

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union is a highly exceptional component of the EU legal order. This constitutionalised foreign policy regime, with legal, diplomatic, and political DNA woven throughout its fabric, is a distinct sub-system of law on the outermost sphere of European supranationalism. When contrasted against other Union policies, it is immediately clear that EU foreign policy has a special decision-making mechanism, making it highly exceptional.

 

In the now depillarised framework of the EU treaties, issues of institutional division arise from the legacy of the former pillar system. This is due to the reality that of prime concern in EU external relations is the question of ‘who decides?’ By engaging a number of legal themes that cut across foreign affairs exceptionalism, executive prerogatives, parliamentary accountability, judicial review, and the constitutionalisation of European integration, the book lays bare how EU foreign affairs have become highly legalised, leading to ever-greater coherence in how Europe exerts itself on the global stage.

 

In this first monograph dedicated exclusively to the law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy in modern times, the author argues that the legal framework for EU foreign affairs must adapt in a changing world so as to ensure the EU treaties can cater for a more assertive Europe in the wider world.

 

Graham Butler is Associate Professor of Law at Aarhus University, Denmark.

 

Oct 2019   |   9781509925940   |   376pp   |   Hardback   |    RSP: £80

Discount Price: £64

Order online at www.hartpublishing.co.uk – use the code CV7 at the checkout to get 20% off your order!

 

Critical Reflections on Constitutional Democracy in the European Union

Edited by Sacha Garben, Inge Govaere and Paul Nemitz

 

This book takes a wide-ranging approach to tackle the complex question of the current state of constitutional democracy in the EU. It brings together a broad set of academics and practitioners with legal and political perspectives to focus on both topical and perennial issues concerning constitutional democracy (including safeguarding the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights) in theory and practice, primarily at EU level but also with due regard to national and global developments. This approach underlines that rather than a single problématique to be analysed and resolved, we are presently facing a kaleidoscopic spectrum of related challenges that influence each other in elusive, multifaceted ways. Critical Reflections on Constitutional Democracy in the European Union offers a rich analysis of the issues as well as concrete policy recommendations, which will appeal to scholars and practitioners, students and interested citizens alike. It provides a meaningful contribution to the array of existing scholarship and debate by proposing original elements of analysis, challenging often-made assumptions, destabilising settled understandings and proposing fundamental reforms. Overall, the collection injects a set of fresh critical perspectives on this fundamental issue that is as contemporary as it is eternal.

 

Sacha Garben is Professor of EU Law at the College of Europe.

Inge Govaere is Professor of European Law, Jean Monnet Chair in EU Legal Studies at Ghent University and Director, Ghent European Law Institute (GELI) as well as Director of the European Legal Studies Department at the College of Europe.

Paul Nemitz is Principal Adviser at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers. He teaches EU Law as a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

 

Oct 2019   |   9781509933259   |   448pp   |   Hardback   |    RSP: £85

Discount Price: £68

Order online at www.hartpublishing.co.uk – use the code CV7 at the checkout to get 20% off your order!

 

A Practitioner’s Guide to European Patent Law

For National Practice and the Unified Patent Court

Paul England

 

Written by a team of lawyers with long-standing experience in patent litigation in Europe, this book is a comprehensive and practical guide to European patent law, highlighting the areas of consistency and difference between the most influential European patent law jurisdictions: the European Patent Office (EPO), England & Wales, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

 

It is frequently the case that the decisions and approaches of these courts are cited by European patent lawyers of all jurisdictions when submitting arguments in their own national courts. The book is therefore intended to provide a guide to patent lawyers acting in the national European courts today. The book also looks to the future, by addressing all the areas of patent law for which the proposed Unified Patent Court (UPC) will need to establish a common approach.

 

Uniquely, the book addresses European patent law by subject matter area, assessing the key national and EPO approaches together rather than in nation-by-nation chapters; and provides an outline in each chapter of the common ground between the national approaches, as a guide for the possible application of European patent law in the UPC.

 

Paul England is a solicitor at Taylor Wessing, London.

 

Oct 2019   |   9781509928606   |   552pp   |   Hardback   |    RSP: £110

Discount Price: £88

Order online at www.hartpublishing.co.uk – use the code CV7 at the checkout to get 20% off your order!

 

New Economic Constitutionalism in Europe

George Gerapetritis

 

New Economic Constitutionalism in Europe focuses on the institutional mutation of constitutionalism following the major economic crisis in the Eurozone and globally. The main axis is that a new economic constitutionalism has arisen which trespasses on the conventional conceptual foundations and needs to be addressed with novel institutional vehicles. The author proposes an original and searching analysis of the significant constitutional evolutions that have taken place in member states in response to the global financial crisis. The book combines a sophisticated theoretical model of a new form of economic constitutionalism with detailed practical argumentation. This important new work provides a valuable addition to the understanding of this hugely important topic.

 

George Gerapetritis is Professor of Constitutional Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

 

Oct 2019   |   9781509909629   |   384pp   |   Hardback   |    RSP: £85

Discount Price: £68

Order online at www.hartpublishing.co.uk – use the code CV7 at the checkout to get 20% off your order!

 

Article, EU Commission, EU Parliament, Institutions

The arm wrestling between the European Parliament and the European Commissioners-designate?

The Editors

 

So here go not one, not two, but three Commissioners.

Granted, the polemics about the title of the portfolio for the Greek Commissioner, ‘Protecting the European way of life’, did sound like a provocation, and there was no doubt that a hard scrutiny in the European Parliament would be in store.

Yet, many simply failed to predict that the Commissioners’ path would be blocked even before the hearings of prospective Commissioners would start (and they did start a couple of weeks ago, on 30 September). Laszlo, Hungarian Commissioner designated for enlargement, and Plumb the Romanian Commissioner for trasport, have instead being ‘rejected’ by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. The Committee found they had too obvious conflicts of interests. This opportunity is given to the Committee by a rule in the annex of the rules of procedures of the European Parliament. This rule is commendable: nobody else is entrusted to check whether the Commissioners-designate (i.e., those proposed by the President of the Commission and which need to be approved, collectively, by the Parliament) can indeed represent the interests of the European Union.

In addition to the Legal Affairs Committee, each Commissioner-designate is heard by the European Parliament at a ‘confirmation hearing’. This is an occasion for the EP to  inform its decision over consenting or rejecting the new Commission as a whole. It is also an occasion to hold the President of the Commission accountable, as we will explain later.

The Hungarian and Romanian Commissioner-designate did not make it to the hearing, but the designated French Commissioner Sylvie Goulard also failed to make it into the new college of commissioners. The European Parliament, at the confirmation hearing, took issue with the answers given by Goulard on the alleged wrongdoing during her time as a MEP. It is easy to suspect that the real target of the Parliament was not Goulard herself, but the French President Macron (who hastened to say ‘it’s not my fault’…).

Where does it leave us with interinstitutional relations? The impression is that the European Parliament, who has the power to approve or disapprove the entirety of the Commission, had to build enough criticism over the single Commissioners-designate in order to have leverage on Ursula von der Leyen and her new Commission.

The trajectory has been one of growing influence of the European Parliament since the first elections held with the rules established by the Treaty on the European Union as modified in Lisbon. The rule for the nomination of the President of the Commission is not univocal: ‘Taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations, the European Council, acting by a qualified majority, shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission’ (Article 17.7 TEU).

In 2014, the European Council and the European Parliament struggled over the name of the President of the Commission. The Parliament had the upper hand on that occasion: ‘taking into account the elections of the European Parliament’ was interpreted as meaning that the Spitzenkandidat (the top candidate) chosen by the relative majority party would be the President (Jean-Claude Juncker). Then, only a Commissioner was rejected, the former prime minister of Slovenia Bratusek,

In 2019, it was instead the Member States (championed by Macron) that imposed von der Leyen as President of the Commission (instead of Manfred Weber, the Spitzenkandidat of the European People’s Party, the party with relative majority of seats in the Parliament). The result is not surprising. Remember that in January 2018 the European Parliament had already stated that it ‘will be ready to reject any candidate in the investiture procedure of the Commission President who was not appointed as a Spitzenkandidat in the run-up to the European elections’.

 

Arbitration, Article, Courts, GDPR

Tennant Energy vs. Canada: Diluting the Impact of GDPR in International Treaty Arbitration

Bhavit Baxi

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ‘PCA’ in Tennant Energy vs. Canada[1] ruled that EU General Data Protection Regulations (‘GDPR’) will not come within the material scope in investor-state arbitrations under Chapter 11 of North American Trade Agreement ‘NAFTA’, a treaty to which neither the European Union nor its Member States are the parties.

Factual Background

In June 2017, the Tennant Energy LLC instituted the arbitration proceedings against Canada which were in front of Permanent Court of Arbitration. Thereby Tennant Energy under Chapter 11 of NAFTA claimed the damages from Canada amounting to $ 116 Million relating to its investment in a wind project.

Since the beginning of the proceedings the preliminary issues of Data Protection were the prime focus of the discussions.[2] It was Argued by the Claimant that EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 should be taken into account and the procedures developed to comply with it, since one of the tribunal members (Arbitrator) is based in the UK.[3] Canada, on the other hand, argued that the GDPR does not generally govern the arbitration proceedings because, among other things, the claim was made under a treaty to which neither the EU nor its Member States are a party. Therefore, the arbitration is outside of the material scope of the GDPR.[4]

Procedural order

The Arbitral Tribunal on 24 June 2019 informed both the parties via email very briefly in two paragraphs stating “Arbitration under NAFTA Chapter 11, a treaty to which neither the European Union nor its Member States are party, does not, presumptively, come within the material scope of the GDPR.”

Further Tribunal also clarified that Procedural Order would not make any reference to GDPR, however this would be ‘without prejudice to the importance of ensuring a high level of data protection’.[5]

Applicability of GDPR

The fundamental objective of GDPR is to protect natural persons with regard to the processing of their personal data. It regulates and safeguards the fundamental rights and freedom of natural persons and in particular the right to have their personal data protected.

On plain reading of Article 3 of General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 it could be concluded that the regulation is applicable to Arbitral Tribunals seated in EU and also tribunals outside EU concerning EU data subjects.

In Tennant Energy vs. Canada it was argued[6] by Canada that since the Permanent Court of Arbitration  seats in the Netherlands, this grants certain immunities to  PCA and it should exclude PCA from the applicability of GDPR.

Article 44, Chapter V of GDPR, expressly states that it covers the transfer of data to international organizations or third countries in order to ensure that the level of protection of natural persons is guaranteed.  Moreover, a European Commission decision of ‘adequacy’ is necessary prior to the transfer of the personal data to third countries or international organizations.

Further  the guidelines issued by European Data Protection Board[7] on the territorial scope of GDPR, which more explicitly clarifies that GDPR can extend to data processing that occurs outside of the EU: “The text of Article 3(1) does not restrict the application of the GDPR to the processing of personal data of individuals who are in the Union. The EDPB, therefore, considers that any personal data processing in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or processor in the Union would fall under the scope of the GDPR, regardless of the location or the nationality of the data subject whose personal data are being processed. This approach is supported by Recital 14 of the GDPR which states that “the protection afforded by this Regulation should apply to natural persons, whatever their nationality or place of residence, in relation to the processing of their personal data.”  It was further submitted by the claimant[8] that one of the London-based arbitrator has confirmed in a data privacy notice that the GDPR applies to him, as he is is both a data “processor” and a data “controller”, pursuant to how the terms are defined in the GDPR. Thus, it could be prima facie concluded that by no means Canada can escape from the applicability of GDPR.

Conclusion

GDPR serves as a strongest medium to protect sensitive and privileged, personal and commercial information, in international disputes. However, the impact of GDPR in international treaty arbitrations still remains faded and it continues to be a big topic of debate in the arbitration arena. It seems that there is a great need of case law which could settle this issue.

Lastly, ICCA and the IBA have established a Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings. The task force is developing the guidance to facilitate arbitration professionals with regards to data protection in arbitration proceedings, which is due to be published later in the year.

 

The author

BLS-LLB (Hons.) Student at M.K.E.S College of Law, University of Mumbai, India.

 

 

[1] PCA Case No. 2018-54: Tennant Energy, LLC (U.S.A.) v. Government of Canada.

[2] Claimants Submission on confidentiality.

[3] Investor comments on the EU General Data Privacy Regulation; – Tennant Energy, LLC (U.S.A.) v. Government of Canada.

[4] Reply to Claimant’s Submissions.

[5] See 1.

[6] Tennant Energy LLC v. Government of Canada Response to the Claimant’s Submission on the European Union General Data Protection Regulation

[7] Guidelines 3/2018 on the territorial scope of the GDPR (Article 3) – Version for public consultation

[8] Questions And Investor’s Response To Tribunal GDPR Questions And Data Privacy Questions June 4, 2019

Article, Brexit, Reforms for the EU

The end of ‘Fortress Europe’? The implications of asymmetrical UK-EU intellectual property rights after Brexit

James Taylor

  1. Brexit and the future of IP rights

For some time, businesses have been awaiting clarifications about the future of the UK-EU relationship with regard to intellectual property rights. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has declared it will convert all EU registered trademarks into UK marks without charge to bridge the gap that will soon exist in law between UK and EU IP rights. As regards patents, it is clear that Brexit will not have a decisive effect,  since it appears they will be governed by a separate system and an independent court.[1] The most immediate question, and currently the most uncertain, concerns the ‘exhaustion’ of IP rights. If there were a deal along similar lines to the current Withdrawal Agreement signed in November 2018, equivalence of IP rights could be expected throughout the two-year transition period that such a deal would trigger. In preparation for the event of a no-deal, however, the UK Government has laid statutory instruments[2] before Parliament that state Britain’s intention to continue honouring the principle of regional IP right exhaustion within the European Economic Area (EEA) following Brexit.

Continue reading “The end of ‘Fortress Europe’? The implications of asymmetrical UK-EU intellectual property rights after Brexit”