Schizophrenia in the EU about International Law

11 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015

See all articles by Marco Bronckers

Marco Bronckers

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Date Written: January 21, 2015


There is a lot of concern about a mechanism in international agreements that allows private parties to challenge government measures before ad hoc arbitral tribunals (Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ‘ISDS’). Because of ISDS, civil society in Europe is opposing TTIP, as well as other bilateral trade agreements currently negotiated by the EU. In response to these concerns, European Commission officials, Parliamentarians, and Member States are now suggesting that such treaty-based claims of private parties are probably best handled by national courts. This suggestion is astonishing. For decades governments in the EU have been trying to block private appeals to international law in our courts. This is again illustrated in a European Court of Justice judgment of January 2015 concerning the Aarhus Convention. I challenged this outburst of schizophrenia in a blogpost of Leiden University. The paper includes all commentary posted until April 14, 2015.

Keywords: TTIP, ISDS, Aarhus Convention, Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism,Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, interaction between legal systems, domestic law effect of international treaties

JEL Classification: F13, K10, K20, K32, K33, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Bronckers, Marco, Schizophrenia in the EU about International Law (January 21, 2015). Available at SSRN:

Marco Bronckers (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA

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