Arbitration in EU Jurisdiction Regulation: Brussels I Recast and a New Proposal
AbstractThe relationship between the European jurisdiction regime and arbitration is one of the areas generating confusion and disputes. The Brussels I Regulation clearly excludes arbitration from its scope to avoid conflicts with the New York Convention, but arbitration-related issues, such as the validity of arbitration agreements, either as an independent claim or an incidental question, frequently arise in courts. The scope of the Brussels I Regulation in terms of arbitration has been addressed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in a number of decisions, such as Marc Rich v Societa Italiano Impianti, Van Uden, and Front Comor. None of them have provided a satisfactory answer. In order to provide clarification and to reconcile the European jurisdiction Regulation and the New York Convention, the Brussels I Recast has inserted a new recital specifically addressing the relationship between court jurisdiction and arbitration. This article aims to assess the effect of the new recital and whether it has appropriately resolved the difficult questions on the relationship between jurisdiction and arbitration in the European Union.
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