Event Information

Annual Conference 2020

Virtual event 2nd October, 2020

Join us via Zoom for five sessions over two weeks, dedicated to pivotal issues in European law, with contributions from senior judges and high-profile practitioners.

 

Tuesday 22nd September: The Ratline & Genocides, Then and Now in Law & Life

Philippe Sands QC, author of the recently published The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive, in conversation with colleagues Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Wednesday 23rd September: Virtual Hearings – The European Experience

Courts and tribunals everywhere have been faced with the same problem in the Covid-19 pandemic: how to deliver justice during lock-down.

Thursday 24th September: The CJEU – A Supreme court for Europe?

This discussion will aim at the heart of the debate over the relationship between the CJEU and the courts of Member States. What happens when there is a genuine perception on the part of a Member State court that the CJEU has exceeded the terms of the Treaties? Is the resultant decision nevertheless binding? How would that fit in with the reciprocal obligations of sincere cooperation of the CJEU and Member State courts and with the rule of law as set out in the Treaties?

Wednesday 30th September: Lugano or Hague? Jurisdictions & Judgements Rules with Non-EU States

In the light of the agreement of Hague 2019 and the apparent intent of the EU to accede to Hague 2019, what arrangements should a non-EU state make if it wishes to optimise the system for the reciprocal enforcement of judgments between itself and the EU?

Thursday 1st October: The future of BITs in Europe

This session will explore the future of these agreements in an EU and international law perspective, including what is next after the CJEU’s judgment in Case C-284/16 Achmea and the legal effect of the treaty for the termination of intra-EU BITs signed by 23 Member States on 5 May 2020. It will also address how these developments may affect investor-State arbitration under other international agreements, including the Energy Charter Treaty, and what impact Brexit could have in this context.

 

 

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EuroPEAN CIRCUIT - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 - Speakers

Tuesday 22nd September: The Ratline & Genocides, Then and Now in Law & Life

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at UCL and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He appears as counsel before international courts and tribunals, and sits as an international arbitrator. As well as several academic books on international law, he has written Lawless World (2005), Torture Team (2008) and East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide (2016), which won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize, the 2017 British Book Awards Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and the 2018 Prix Montaigne. His new book, The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive, was published in April 2020 and is available as a BBC podcast. Philippe is President of English PEN and a member of the Board of the Hay Festival.

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has practised as a barrister since 1971. He was chair of the China Tribunal and is currently chair of the Uyghur Tribunal. He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (the ICTY) between 1998 and 2006 and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia. Much of his work since has been connected to cases before the permanent International Criminal Court (Sudan, Kenya, Libya) or pro bono for victims groups (Iran, Burma, North Korea) whose cases cannot get to any international court. He works for several related NGOs and lectures and commentates in the media in various countries on international war crimes issues. He has been a part-time judge since 1984 and has sat as judge in other jurisdictions, tribunals and inquiries. Between 2009 and 2012 he was vice-chair of the Bar Standards Board.

Amanda Pinto QC is Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales. She practises from chambers at 33 Chancery Lane, London. She specialises in business wrongdoing, international fraud, corporate crime, money laundering and bribery. She was appointed a part-time judge in 2003, QC in 2006 and a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2014, and was chair of the International Committee of the Bar Council 2014-2018. She has published books on corporate criminal liability and sanctions. Amanda is a trustee of the Slynn Foundation, working to improve justice systems and the rule of law globally, and a champion of the First 100 Years project, celebrating women being admitted to the legal profession. She is deputy chair of the Tate Members Council, representing over 140,000 members for the Tate Galleries.

Colm Ó hOisín SC (Chair) is the current leader of the European Circuit. He has been in practice at the Irish Bar since 1988 and became a Senior Counsel in 2005. He is also a member of the Bar of England and Wales and the Bar of Northern Ireland, and is an Associate Tenant at Kings Chambers in Manchester. He has a wide-ranging practice concentrated on commercial and public law litigation and international arbitration. Colm is the current member for Ireland on the ICC International Court of Arbitration and is designated by Ireland as a member of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators.

 

Wednesday 23rd September: Virtual Hearings – The European Experience

Mr Justice David Barniville was appointed a judge of the High Court of Ireland in December 2017. He is currently the judge in charge of the Commercial Division. He is also designated as the Arbitration Judge to hear all arbitration-related matters in the High Court. In July 2018 he was appointed as a member of Ireland’s national group on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. He was recently appointed as a member of the board of trustees of the Academy of European Law (ERA) and is a governor and member of the board of the National Maternity Hospital.

Sir Colin Birss has recently been selected for appointment to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. He was called to the Bar in 1990 and was appointed standing counsel for the Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks and Designs 2003–2008. He took silk in 2008. In 2010 he was appointed judge of the Patents County Court (now the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court). In 2013 he was appointed to the High Court and he has been the judge in charge of the Patents Court since 2019. He is a member of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and chairs the Judicial Digital Steering Committee. He served as supervising judge for the Business and Property Courts on the Midlands, Western and Wales Circuits from 2017 to 2019. He is an independent judicial member of the EPO Boards of Appeal Committee and serves on the Advisory Board of Judges for the WIPO Judicial Institute. He is also general editor of Terrell on the Law of Patents and a council member of the UK Foundation for Science and Technology.

Paul McGarry SC was Chairman of the Bar of Ireland from July 2016 to July 2018. He was called to the Bar in 1996 and took silk in 2010. He has been a member of the Bar of England and Wales since 2012. He was elected a bencher of King’s Inns in 2016 and a master of the bench at Middle Temple in 2018. His practice is primarily in European, public and commercial law, and he is an accredited mediator and international arbitrator. Paul has served on the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, the Courts Service Board, the Euro Changeover Board, the Board of Irish Rail and the International Council for Advocates and Barristers. He was head of the Irish delegation to the Council of European Bars and Law Societies (2014–2020) and is co-chair of the IBA Forum for Advocates and Barristers (2018–2020). He is chair of both the EU Bar Association and the Sports Law Bar Association of Ireland.

Dr Maria Hauser-Morel is based in the Paris office of HANEFELD, a top tier international dispute resolution boutique firm with offices in Germany and France. She is a Polish-qualified lawyer and has also been admitted to practice as an avocat in France. She acts as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitration proceedings, focusing on construction and engineering (specifically FIDIC model contracts), energy law and disputes involving states and state entities. Prior to joining HANEFELD, Maria worked in a reputable Polish law firm, and two international law firms in Paris, as well as at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration.

His Honour Judge Richard Pearce (Chair) was called to the Bar in 1985. He practised in the sphere of common law, specialising in clinical negligence and personal injury work, as well as medical regulation and professional negligence. He was appointed a Recorder in 2005 and a full-time Circuit Judge in 2015, sitting initially in Chester and Liverpool and more recently in Manchester as a Specialist Circuit Judge in the Business and Property Courts. He is the Judge in charge of the Circuit Commercial Court in Manchester and also sits in the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division (Technology and Construction Court, Administrative Court and the general list). He has been heavily involved in the court reform programme, including work on the “online court”.

Abigail Holt is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London with an interest in cross-border issues, particularly in cases with a medical element. She also has twelve years’ experience sitting as a part-time judge in the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum), deciding human rights, European citizenship and immigration and asylum cases. During lockdown the Tribunal has launched electronic files and Cloud Video Platform (CVP) hearings, giving Abigail direct experience of dealing with virtual hearings.

Thursday 24th September: The CJEU – A Supreme court for Europe?

Advocate General Gerard Hogan was appointed to the Court of Justice in October 2018, following his nomination by the Government of Ireland. He was called to the Bar in 1987 and took silk in 1997. He was a judge of the High Court of Ireland from 2010 to 2014 and of the Court of Appeal from 2014 until his appointment as Advocate General. He holds a doctorate in law from Trinity College Dublin, where he lectured for many years. He is the author of numerous publications on constitutional and administrative law.

Prof. Gráinne de Búrca is Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law at NYU and Director of the Hauser Global Law School there. Her fields of research and expertise include European Union law and human rights law, and she is co-author with Paul Craig of the Oxford University Press textbook EU Law, currently in its seventh edition. She is co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of Common Market Studies, Global Constitutionalism and the journal Legal Studies. She is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

Prof. Christoph Möllers is Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence in the Faculty of Law at  Humboldt University, Berlin. He was previously a fellow at the NYU School of Law and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and was formerly a judge at the Superior Administrative Court in Berlin. His main interests include German, European and comparative constitu­tional law, regulated industries, democratic theory in public law, and the theory of normativity. His most recent books include The Court without Limits and The Possibility of Norms (both published by Oxford University Press in 2020).

Hugh Mercer QC (Chair)is a barrister of the Bar of England and Wales and of the Bar of Northern Ireland. He is also an avocat at the Barreau du Brabant Wallon. He was called to the Bar in 1985, took silk in 2008 and is a Bencher of Middle Temple. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division and the Administrative Court.  He specialises in litigation involving issues of EU law, public or private international law, foreign law and public law.  He is chair of the CCBE European Lawyers Committee and the Future Relationship (formerly Brexit) Working Group of the Bar of England and Wales.  He is a former leader of the European Circuit and former chair of CCBE Permanent Delegation to the CJEU, 2010–2015.

Wednesday 30th September: Lugano or Hague? Jurisdictions & Judgements Rules with Non-EU States

Lord Mance was formerly Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. He now sits as an arbitrator and as an appellate judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court and is Chief Justice of the Astana International Commercial Court. He is currently chair of the International Law Association, joint chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, chair of the Conduct Committee of the House of Lords, and a member of the Judicial Integrity Group (responsible for the Bangalore Principles on Judicial Conduct). Lord Mance was the first elected chair of the Council of Europe’s Consultative Council of European Judges, from 2000 to 2003. From 2010 to 2018 he served on the seven-person panel established by Article 255 TFEU to report on candidates’ suitability to serve as Judge or Advocate General in the Court of Justice.

Dr Stephan F. Wernicke is Chief Legal Officer of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), which represents approximately four million commercial enterprises in Germany and 140 German chambers of commerce abroad. He is Professor of European Law, European Economic and Competition Law at Humboldt University, Berlin. He advises and is a renowned speaker on German and European legal policy. His work as counsel and arbitrator is focused on competition law and alternative dispute resolution (investment arbitration), offering various consultancy services in connecting business to EU institutions. He has previously held roles in the cabinet of the vice president of the European Commission, DG Competition in the European Commission and the cabinet of the German Judge at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Prof. Trevor Hartley is Professor of Law Emeritus at the London School of Economics, where he has taught for many years. He specialises in private international law and EU law. He has previously taught in Canada and, on a temporary basis, at various US universities. He has written books on EU law and private international law, including Choice-of-Court Agreements under the European and International Instruments (Oxford University Press, 2013) and  Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is a member of the American Law Institute, GEDIP (European Group for Private International Law) and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law (UK Ministry of Justice).

Prof. Stefania Bariatti is Professor of Private International Law at the University of Milan. She is Of Counsel at Chiomenti Studio Legale, where she was formerly a partner. Stefania advises Italian and international clients on EU and international law, with a particular focus on Italian and EU competition law, technology, media and telecoms, intellectual property, information technology, international commercial arbitration and EU litigation. She has been an external consultant for the European Commission on judicial cooperation in civil matters and insolvency proceedings since 2012 and is a member of the governing council of UNIDROIT, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law.

Barbara Dohmann QC (Chair) is a commercial silk whose practice has a particular focus on international arbitration. She has extensive judicial experience, both as an arbitrator and judge. She is a member of the LCIA and chair of the International Arbitration Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan. She was a Recorder from 1987 to 2001, a Deputy High Court Judge from 1994 to 2002, and a judge of the International Court in Qatar from 2007 to 2017. She has appeared before foreign courts in commercial disputes, including in Bermuda, Gibraltar, Singapore, Brunei, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. She has given expert evidence on English law to courts in the USA, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria and Dubai. Barbara was chair of the Commercial Bar Association from 1999 to 2001 and leader of the European Circuit from 2014 to 2016.

Thursday 1st October: The future of BITs in Europe

Janet Whittaker is an international disputes, international trade and investment, and international law lawyer who has practised in London, New York and Washington, DC. She is currently a Senior Counsel in Clifford Chance’s Washington, DC office where she specialises in international arbitration and litigation, international environmental and climate change matters and international trade. She has taught international arbitration at Stanford Law School and European law at University College London. She also sits as arbitrator.

Prof. Panos Koutrakos is Professor of EU Law and Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at City, University of London. He is a barrister at Monckton Chambers, London, and a member of the Athens Bar. He is also the joint editor of European Law Review. He has held Chairs at the Universities of Durham and Bristol and visiting posts at the Universities of Melbourne, Sydney, New South Wales, Iowa, Antwerp and Michigan. He has written widely in EU law in general and external relations law in particular (his books include, amongst others, EU International Relations Law (2nd edition, 2015), which is a leading text in the field. He has given evidence to the European Parliament and the House of Commons.

Gillian Cahill is a barrister, specialised in international arbitration and European Union law. She has served as référendaire to Judges Regan and O’Caoimh at the Court of Justice of the European Union. She has also practised law at the Irish Bar and in Paris, France. She regularly handles both investment and commercial arbitration matters and is currently based in Dublin and Madrid.

Gordon Nardell QC (Chair) practises at 20 Essex Street Chambers in London and Singapore and Alphalex-Avocats in Brussels. He specialises in international dispute resolution and EU law, focusing on claims by and against State entities, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors.  He is also known for his work in regulated markets such as transport, telecoms and financial services.  As well as acting as counsel, Gordon accepts appointments as arbitrator ad hoc and under the main institutional rules. Gordon is a former leader of the European Circuit and served as chair of the Bar Council’s EU Law Committee 2015–2017. He has co-authored several articles and addressed professional events on aspects of intra-EU BIT disputes in the wake of the CJEU’s Achmea judgment.

Erik Lagerlöf is an advocate at Vinge in Stockholm, specialising in EU and international law. He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at the Stockholm School of Economics and a Visiting Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. He has been called to the English Bar and he previously served as a référendaire to Judges Fernlund and Vajda at the Court of Justice. As an academic, he has spent time at the University of Cambridge, the European University Institute and Harvard Law School.

European Circuit - Annual Conference 2020 - Full programme

Tuesday 22 September, 5pm - The Ratline & Genocides, Then & Now in Law & Life

Philippe Sands QC, author of the recently published The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive, in conversation with colleagues Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The Ratline follows the story of Otto Wächter, who as Governor of Galicia (straddling the modern day border of Poland and Ukraine), presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed. Amongst those killed were the family of the author’s grandfather. Remarkably, research for this book and its predecessor East West Street was in part facilitated by Otto Wächter’s son, Horst Arthur Wächter, who made available to Philippe a unique collection of personal family papers, photographs and diaries. Philippe is intrigued by the determination of Horst to believe that his father was a decent man, notwithstanding his acceptance of his father’s connection to such appalling events.

Philippe contemplated a similar question when hearing Aung San Suu Kyi give evidence seeking to defend Myanmar’s military actions from allegations of genocide against the Rohingya people, at the International Court of Justice in December 2019. Following the hearing the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to take immediate steps to protect the Rohingya people and to prevent their genocide.

What are the factors that cause seemingly decent people not to recognise what everyone else sees?

Wednesday 23 September, 5pm - Virtual Hearings – The European Experience

Courts and tribunals everywhere have been faced with the same problem in the Covid-19 pandemic: how to deliver justice during lock-down. Across the continent, in-person hearings have been giving way to virtual hearings, but this transition has been far from uniform. Following more than six months of different experience and experimentation, we now have much to learn from one another about what different courts and tribunals have been doing, what has worked and what has not. In this session, speakers from Ireland, the UK and France will share their views about what has been working or not working in both the national courts and international arbitration proceedings, what we have gained from virtual hearings and what we are at risk of losing if there is a long-term transition to virtual hearings.

Thursday 24 September, 5pm -The CJEU – A Supreme Court for Europe?

This discussion will aim at the heart of the debate over the relationship between the CJEU and the courts of Member States. What happens when there is a genuine perception on the part of a Member State court that the CJEU has exceeded the terms of the Treaties? Is the resultant decision nevertheless binding? How would that fit in with the reciprocal obligations of sincere cooperation of the CJEU and Member State courts and with the rule of law as set out in the Treaties? As we know, in its European Central Bank decision of March 2020, the Bundesverfaßungsgericht had to grapple with these questions. True to its form in the earlier case law in relation to the importance of protecting fundamental rights, the German court appeared to feel unable to grant the CJEU the last word because of the risk of abdicating its constitutional role in safeguarding the rule of law. Is that a failure to respect the EU law principle of supremacy, as some have perceived it, or is it a good example of how the rich tapestry of judicial instances in Europe are intended to interact under the Treaties?

Wednesday 30 September, 5pm - Lugano or Hague? Jurisdiction & Judgments Rules with Non‑EU States

In the light of the agreement of Hague 2019 and the apparent intent of the EU to accede to Hague 2019, what arrangements should a non-EU state make if it wishes to optimise the system for the reciprocal enforcement of judgments between itself and the EU?  The Brussels–Lugano regime clearly has strengths and we will hear from EU experts on the attractions of the existing EU regime on jurisdiction and judgments from both the perspective of businesses engaged in cross border trade and from a legal perspective, distinguishing for this purpose Brussels recast and Lugano. Hague 2005 and Hague 2019 will be compared and contrasted with the Brussels–Lugano regime and views will be expressed on the options open to a third state faced with a potential choice between the Hague regime or the Lugano Convention in its present form.

Trevor Hartley - Session 4 Outline

Thursday 1 October, 5pm -The Future of BITs in Europe

The standing of BITs within Europe has been a controversial topic for some time. This session will explore the future of these agreements in an EU and international law perspective, including what is next after the CJEU’s judgment in Case C-284/16 Achmea and the legal effect of the treaty for the termination of intra-EU BITs signed by 23 Member States on 5 May 2020.  It will also address how these developments may affect investor-State arbitration under other international agreements, including the Energy Charter Treaty, and what impact Brexit could have in this context.

 

 

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