Research Project: Protesting Austerity at Courts and Tribunals
Dr Ioannis Glinavos, i.glinavos (at) westminster.ac.uk, @iGlinavos
Stating the problem:
Individuals suffering negative impacts from austerity policies are looking for legal redress. There are three levels of legal action envisaged, one national (constitutional law violations for example), one international (ECHR on property violations, or EU law) and one supranational (ISDS).
The national route has met with limited success for specific categories of people, usually for employment rights or compensation for protected employment groups (Greece, Portugal). The international route has resulted in no successes, even though a number of applicants have tried to argue property rights violations at the ECtHR and attempted to bring claims all the way up to the CJEU.
The supranational route is perhaps more fruitful, but is only open to foreign investors, and protects a limited range of issues that are perhaps side-effects of economic adjustment and austerity.
An interesting aspect of the supranational route is the potential conflict between EU law and CJEU competences and investment tribunals when the dispute is an intra-EU dispute. Examples of these are Postova v Greece, Laiki v Greece and Eiser v Spain.
My research focuses on exploring the potential of ISDS to challenge economic reform/fiscal stability measures in Europe post financial crisis. This brings together elements of international investment law and EU law, alongside debates on public international law and the function of treaties at international and regional level. The aim is to offer clarity on investor rights and avenues for redress when states implement radical changes in economic policy.
Outlets and impact:
This research is of high policy significance as it relates to ongoing disputes at investment tribunals and brings in recent developments at EU law (Achmea decision). This has high impact potential both for the legal profession, investors and policy makers. There are also key theoretical points raised by this study both as to individual rights in dynamic policy environments and as to the coherence of EU law vis-à-vis the international investor protection legal framework. Finally, this research has direct impacts on Brexit too, as investors can protest the loss of rights engendered by the UK’s departure, utilising the same arguments investors in Europe are using to resist economic policy reversals. The research produces work in highly ranked academic journals and is disseminated via mass media.
Bibliography and outputs:
- Redefining the Market-State Relationship: Responses to the Financial Crisis and the Future of Regulation (2013) Routledge, London, 184 pages
Peer Reviewed Papers
- Brexit, the City and Options for ISDS (2018) ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal, forthcoming
- Public Interests, Private Disputes: Investment Arbitration and the Public Good (2016) Vol.13(1) Manchester Journal of International Economic Law 50-62
- Haircut Undone? The Greek Drama and Prospects for Investment Arbitration (2014) Vol.5(3) Journal of International Dispute Settlement 475-497
- Investor Protection v. State Regulatory Discretion (2011) Issue 1 European Journal of Law Reform 70-87
- Solar Eclipse: Investment Treaty Arbitration and Spain’s Photovoltaic Troubles, Chapter in Lessons from the Great Recession (2016) Emerald, 251-271
- How Greece’s gold mining trouble could derail CETA (20.9.17) The Conversation UK, and in Greek in The Huffington Post Greece
- The big challenge of the NAFTA renegotiations: dispute settlement (14.8.17) The Conversation UK
- How to Protest Brexit in an Investment Tribunal (31.7.17) Oxford Business Law Blog
- Brexit And The High Cost Of Promises (20.7.17) The Huffington Post
- Why the EU’s Singapore ruling does not lead to a smoother Brexit road for Britain (22.5.17) The Conversation UK
- Brexit Lawsuits, But Not As You Know Them (9.5.17) Verfassungsblog
- CJEU Opens Door to Legal Challenges to Euro Rescue Measures in Key Decision (21.9.16) Verfassungsblog
- Challenging Emergency Liquidity Assistance Decisions in International Tribunals (1.7.16) Oxford Business Law Blog
- Digging Up the Past: Can Greece Handle Another PSI Challenge? (20.10.2015) Kluwer Arbitration Blog
- Greek 2012 Haircut Survives Challenge at ICSID (2015) Issue 3, Corporate Disputes 94-97
- A New Era in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Arbitrating the European Crisis (2015) Issue 1, Corporate Disputes 60-64
If you working in this area and would like to know more, please contact me.