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The Relevance of EU Law for Arbitral Tribunals: (Not) Managing the Lingering Tension

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The tensions between European Union (EU) law and intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have become increasingly visible: they involve national and transnational courts, arbitral tribunals and courts in third states, and arise in a variety of procedural settings and with increasing intensity. Written at a time when questions about the very foundations of the interactions between EU and intra-EU BITs have been raised before the Court of Justice of the European Union, this article highlights the legal and policy factors that may explain the intensity of the current dilemmas. It reflects on the maximalist and polemical approach that a number of actors have adopted over the years, and points out the pitfalls of ignoring the usefulness of pragmatism and comity.

Affiliations: 1: City, University of LondonUnited Kingdom


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