Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

A bit of a heavy-handed title however I am often reminded of this maxim, credited (perhaps incorrectly) to Benjamin Disraeli KG. Over at SSRN I refer to it in discussing the statistical merits of the proposed Common European Sales Law. Over and above the (lack of) justification for the proposal, its relationship with European Private International Law is very unclear. The European Commission marches on with its harmonisation of European conflicts law however I for one would argue that with the proposed CESL it may have hit the proverbial wall.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2002866

Geert.

Corporate Social Resonsibility used as stick and carrot – Court Amsterdam

End 2011, the Gerechtshof Amsterdam issued a further ruling in the long-running Trafigura case (exports of wastes, Ivory coast). I am restricted from commenting on the waste law merits of the case however it is interesting to note that the court employed CSR both as carrot and stick in determining punishment. As a stick: companies with a level of sophistication as Trafigura ought to organise themselves to be aware of the legal implications of their production process. As a carrot: the foundation created by the company supports global CSR projects, which merits a certain amount of leniency. As far as I am aware, this was the first time that CSR was used in such specific manner in court.

Geert.

The EU’s external trade policy: Doha as well as FTAs

I have uploaded a short piece on the focus of the EU’s external trade policy given the continuing stalemate in the Doha Round over at the WTO.

However one spins the news coming out of the Geneva headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (‘WTO’), it would seem fair to say that the current ‘Doha’ or ‘Development’ or indeed ‘Millennium’ Round of multilateral trade negotiations is in dire straits. Overall agreement was narrowly missed in the summers of 2006 and again of 2008 (Doh!). Following this on-going failure, Free Trade Agreements (‘FTAs’) and Regional Trade Agreements (‘RTAs’) are very much en vogue, in the EU as elsewhere (Aha!).

Geert.

Court of Justice rules on priority of ‘substantial’ v ‘procedural’ EU environmental law

28 February: Third ECJ judgment in the Terre Wallonne trilogy: can a national court temporarily uphold the effects of a national measure which, following an ECJ judgment, has been found to be illegal under the EIA Directive, with a view to avoiding the Member State being found to have violated the nitrates Directive? Those with a sense of drama pitched this as a battle between ‘procedural’ (EIA) and ‘substantial’ (Nitrates) EU environmental law (it is in this sense that this judgment is likely to have most precedent value).

Answer of the Court in Case C-41/11: YES, subject of course to conditions (including, which is a tricky assessment for the national court to make, having to find that complete annulment of the illegal measure would make the environment worse off.

One can imagine many other scenarios in almost all areas of EU law where this judgment will be called upon by those wanting to derive rights from illegal (under EU law) national measures which arguably uphold ‘higher’ ranking EU law.

Geert.

GAVC law blog

Welcome to gavclaw.com .  This blog reports on recent developments in my areas of expertise: private international law /conflicts of law. World Trade Organisation – WTO Law. Environmental Law. Energy law. It is not meant to be complete, evidently. It simply highlights recent developments in these areas which are relevant to my practice, teaching and research. Enjoy – I look forward to the exchange. Geert.