Trade: European Court of Justice confirms compatibility of Investment Court System with EU Treaties


The European Commission welcomes today’s Opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union that the Investment Court System (ICS) provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada are consistent with the EU Treaties. President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said: “One of the key pledges in the political guidelines I presented for this Commission in 2014 was to not accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States is limited by special regimes for investor disputes. We delivered on that with the Investment Court System, an innovative approach that became the template for all EU investment negotiations, replacing the old investor-state dispute system, the notorious ISDS. I can only but welcome the Court’s decision as the ultimate confirmation of the approach undertaken by the Commission. Today’s findings of the Court of Justice are important in paving the way for the full application of the trade agreement with Canada. Our partnership with Canada continues to be stronger than ever – politically as well as economically.” EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, said: “This Opinion confirms that citizens can have full confidence in the Commission’s new approach to investment protection. International investment rules and dispute settlement have an important role to play in encouraging and retaining investment. The Investment Court System guarantees that this is done fairly, effectively and transparently.” The decision by the Court means that no changes have to be made to the text of the EU-Canada agreement and Member States’ ratifications can proceed. Equally, no change will be required in the ICS provisions included in the agreements with Singapore, Mexico and Vietnam.The agreement with Canada is under provisional application since September 2017 and can only enter fully into force once ratified by all Member States and concluded by the Council.