PluriCourts Seminar: Szilárd Gáspár-Szilágyi
Postdoctoral research fellow Szilárd Gáspár-Szilágyi will be giving a presentation on his ongoing research at PluriCourts: "Binding committee interpretations in the EU's new free trade and investment agreements".
Abstract: The EU’s new Free Trade and Investment Agreements (FTIAs) all include a clause that empowers certain treaty bodies, such as Joint and Trade Committees, to adopt interpretations of the FTIAs that are binding on the arbitral tribunals and the contracting parties (‘binding interpretations’ clause). While some features of these clauses are novel, others follow prior examples from NAFTA or other FTAs. This article first provides a short historical overview of the way in which the ‘binding interpretations’ clause found its way into the new EU FTIAs. It then critically examines the clause, by focusing on four concerns: the meaning of a ‘serious concern’ regarding the interpretation of investment provisions; the binding character of committee interpretations vis-a-vis arbitral tribunals and domestic courts; the temporal effects of binding interpretations and their practical application. The article recommends some improvements, before these clauses become the standard in future EU FTIAs.