In the much-awaited Achmea judgment (of 6 March 2018, case C-284/16 [GC]), the Court of Justice held that investor-state tribunals (ISTs), “such as” the one under the Netherlands-Slovakia intra-EU bilateral investment treaty (BIT) are incompatible with EU law. In this arguably short judgment, the Court of Justice consolidated its attitude towards the relationship between other international courts and the EU legal order; it set new limits to Art. 344 TFEU; and, it expanded its list of tribunals that do not qualify as Member State courts or tribunals under Art. 267 TFEU. Nonetheless, whilst the Commission can rejoice that it can now clearly oblige Member States to terminate their intra-EU BITs, Achmea sends some worrying signals. The future of ISTs under Member State BITs with third countries is uncertain; so is the viability of the Investment Court System under the agreements with Canada and Vietnam, the future of the Multilateral Investment Court, and the overall coherence of the EU’s international investment law and policy.
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