A Snapshot of the Status of the UK’s Bilateral Investment Treaties and Related International Arbitration After Brexit

Jose-Ignacio Saldana
Vol. 39 Notes Editor

The exit of the UK from the EU has raised concerns amongst foreign investors amid the uncertainty of the future of the UK’s investment relationships. The UK maintains one of the largest bilateral investment treaty (BIT) networks in the world[1]—the international community is interested in the UK’s position on the possible continuation, modification, suspension, or termination of these treaties. Although the UK has not stated its official position,[2] it is likely that the UK will maintain its current foreign investment relationships with the EU and other non-member states, including international arbitration as the dispute settlement mechanism. Continue reading

Addressing the Refugee Crisis: Will the “Fairness Mechanism” Make a Difference?

Rebecca Hughes
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

On May 4, 2016, the European Union (EU) announced a new plan to address the massive influx of migrants.[1] The plan, called the Common European Asylum System,[2] was proposed to address flaws in the Dublin Regulation, Europe’s current asylum mechanism,[3] and create a fairer, more efficient, and more sustainable system.[4] The current system requires refugees to claim asylum in the first EU member state in which they arrive.[5] Refugees who do not do this, and later try to claim asylum in a different member state are deported back to their country of first arrival.[6] This system places a heavy burden on entry states, most specifically Greece in the current crisis.[7]

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“The Right to be Forgotten” in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

Christine Prorok
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Online Content Editor

In a world where information posted to the Internet is so widely available and difficult to control, data privacy can seem out of reach. However, a right that was recently recognized in the European Union has attempted to push back on the notion that once information has been posted online, it is lost into the void. “The right to be forgotten” is the right of Europeans to request information be removed from a search engine when that information is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to [the purposes for which it was processed or collected] and in the light of the time that has elapsed.”[1] The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established this right and emphasized the need for sensitivity for the data subject’s private life.[2] The search engine implicated in this case was Google, an American-based company. However, that did not prevent the court from ordering the removal of the link in question, because Google Spain processed the information.[3] Continue reading

The E.U. – U.S. Privacy Shield

Corina McIntyre, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In October 2015, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) struck down the U.S.-E.U. transatlantic “Safe Harbor” pact used by thousands of companies to transfer European citizens’ data to the U.S. For 15 years the Safe Harbor pact had “allowed more than 4,000 companies to avoid cumbersome E.U. data transfer rules by stating that they complied with E.U. data protection law.”[1] The E.U. argued that the pact “exposed Europeans to mass surveillance by the U.S. government” and failed to provide necessary privacy guarantees.[2] The ECJ held that the pact violated Europeans’ privacy rights and that E.U. member states can consequently override the pact. Continue reading

Steel Antidumping Tariffs: The Issue of Surrogate Countries

Sung “Chris” Lee
Vol. 37 Associate Editor
Vol. 38 Online Content Editor

Low steel prices have been driven by Chinese steel glut: China is dumping steel globally to get rid of the massive excess supply. As China shifts away from growth driven by the manufacturing industry, it is flooding the worldwide steel market with its excess capacity. China plans to cut some of the excess capacity by 100 to 150 million tons as part of an effort to restructure its economy, but it did not specify the deadline.[1]  Continue reading

The Common European Asylum System: Its History, Content, and Shortcomings

Silvia Raithel, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

Negotiations towards the Common European Asylum System (“CEAS”) began in 1999 in the city of Tampere, Finland.[1] EU Member States wanted a unified asylum system, based on binding legislation, in order to address several key problems.[2] One problem the CEAS sought to address was asylum shopping.[3] This is a practice whereby asylum seekers whose applications for asylum in one EU Member State are denied apply for asylum in another EU Member States.[4] A second problem the CEAS sought to address was disparate asylum outcomes in different EU Member States.[5] This led asylum seekers to gravitate towards EU Member States where their application was more likely to be approved.[6] A third problem the CEAS sought to address was differing social benefits for asylum seekers in different EU Member States.[7] This led asylum seekers to file their petitions for asylum in the EU Member States that had the best social benefits for asylum seekers.[8] Continue reading

Brexit: The Legal Consequences

Katrien Wilmots, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

The chances of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union seemed remote only a couple of months ago. However, recent surveys of the British public and talk in parliament have made the idea of a “Brexit” not just mere talk but an actual possibility.[1] The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been focusing on negotiating a deal with the EU in order to avoid a Brexit,[2] but recent developments do beg the question what the consequences of an exit would be, and more specifically what the international legal consequences would be. Continue reading

The European Union Cracks Down on Member State Corporate Tax Agreements

Corina McIntyre, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

On October 21, 2015, the European Commission ruled that Luxembourg and the Netherlands granted illegal tax agreements to Fiat Finance and Trade and Starbucks.  In essence, the European Commission determined that these tax agreements created anticompetitive effects by granting these multinational corporations unfair tax advantages.  Continue reading

The Safe Harbor Principles: What They Were and What Their Invalidation Means

Silvia Raithel, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

In 1995, the European Parliament and Council passed the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) (the “Directive”).[1] The Directive requires that the transfer of personal data out of the European Economic Area to another country only take place if the other country ensures an adequate level of protection for the data.[2]  Adequate protection can be established by virtue of a country’s domestic law or international commitments.[3] Continue reading

International Legal Implications of Measures Taken to Limit Influx of Refugees in Europe

Christine Prorok, Vol. 37 Associate Editor

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee states in the Middle East and Africa, bound largely for countries in the European Union, the international community has struggled to furnish a consistent response to accepting refugees. And some have no intent to accept refugees at all. Continue reading