英国政府白皮书关于国家间的争议解决建议 欧盟法院仅对欧盟法律说明有管辖权

发布人:事务部管理员 发布时间:2018-07-24 来源:

 

最近公布的白皮书《英国与欧盟未来的关系》包括英国政府依据其称为《联合协议》而提出的解决英国与欧盟之间争议的建议。该《联合协议》将与若干分别涉及经济、安全以及跨领域合作的独立协议一起(多数属于该制度框架),构成这种关系的制度框架。


根据该制度框架,将存在一个英国—欧盟管理机构,这个管理机构下属的联合委员会对协议实施的效力和效率负责。该联合委员会试图“通过定期有组织的对话”阻止争议产生,或者在解决争议时发挥作用。


白皮书强调通过对话和非常规手段解决争议的可能性。然而,白皮书还概述了潜在的争议解决程序以确保制度框架和协议中规定的义务在需要时能够强制实行。


英国根据制度框架和协议提出的争议解决方案

英国建议提出了以下框架:

  1. 非正式磋商。

  2. 向联合委员会提出正式争议。

  3. 联合委员会进行固定期限的磋商。

  4. 当联合委员会不能解决争议时,“在某些情况下”将成立一个包含双方当事人选择的仲裁员在内的独立仲裁庭。在某些情况下,仲裁庭可能包括专家意见,例如行业常识。

  5. 当争议涉及商定的共同规则手册对规则的具体说明时,应当允许将其提交欧盟法院说明(经过联合委员会或仲裁组的共同同意):“欧盟法院仅有权说明英国已同意作为国际法遵守的欧盟规则”。欧盟法院本身不解决争议:联合委员会或者仲裁庭必须根据欧盟法院的说明解决争议。

  6. 该程序独立于当事人依据其他国际条约,例如在WTO框架下下,解决争议方法。


白皮书还涉及违约的可能性。它指出,一方当事人可以通过以下方式采取措施减少损失:(i)与违约程度相当;(ii)仅在违约期间或与之相关的期间有效的临时措施;(iii)在可能的范围内,局限于争议涉及的未来关系领域。它进一步指出,这些措施可能包含财政惩罚和中止履行特定义务。可以通过仲裁对这些措施的适当性和持续时间提出异议。白皮书提到包括财政补偿在内的协议,比如一些美国贸易协议,并提到《欧洲经济区协议》的条款,该条款允许在违约的情况下中止履行义务。


评论


在2017年8月23日发布的《未来合作关系白皮书》中,英国没有提出解决英国和欧盟争议的具体建议,而是从其他协议中提供大量例证,并认为欧盟法院不能对实行任何未来关系协议所规定的义务没有直接管辖权。现在英国提出了一个与这一立场相符的建议,尽管细节内容比较少。然而,白皮书确实朝着欧盟在2018年3月所表达的立场迈进,根据《欧盟协定》,欧盟法院享有决定欧盟法律问题的专属管辖权。因此纳入初步提交程序(联合委员会或独立仲裁庭适用)是对欧盟的让步(尽管英国可能阻止提交联合委员会,因为这要求双方同意)。初步提交程序仅在有限的情况下可用,即争议的规则构成协商的共同规则手册的一部分。在这种情况下,禁止基于欧盟法律对规则的说明可能的分歧,可以说符合双方的利益。


正如预料的一样,尽管原则上为潜在协议提供了框架,仍需要进一步详细说明争议解决框架实践中如何运行。比如,英国与欧盟之间的所有争议并不是都可仲裁,但仍需要确定何种争议类型只能由联合委员会解决。


关于仲裁庭组成和指定的建议只作概括性陈述,指出仲裁庭是独立的包括来自欧盟和英国的代表,在一些情况下可能包括具有专业或行业专长的仲裁员。


简而言之,英国的建议并未使欧盟远离当前立场(即欧盟法院对欧盟和其成员国之间关系的各个方面没有直接管辖权),并且在承认欧盟法院说明欧盟法律的重要性的同时,符合国际公法的一般原则。



【英文原文】


State to state dispute resolution in the UK Government’s White Paper: arbitration with a potential role for the CJEU


The White Paper published yesterday, “The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union”, includes the UK Government’s proposal for the resolution of disputes between the UK and the EU under what the UK Government views as an “Association Agreement”. This Association Agreement would form the institutional framework for the relationship, with a number of separate agreements (the majority falling within this institutional framework), each covering different elements of economic, security and cross-cutting cooperation.

Under the institutional framework there would be a UK-EU Governing Body, and under that Governing Body and answerable to it, a Joint Committee which would be responsible for the effective and efficient administration of the agreements. The Joint Committee, “through regular and structured dialogue”, would seek to prevent disputes arising, or otherwise play a role in resolving them.

The White Paper emphasises the potential for resolution of disputes through dialogue and non-formal means. However, it also outlines a potential dispute resolution process to ensure that the obligations contained in the institutional framework and agreements can be enforced if needed.


UK’s Proposal for Dispute Resolution under the institutional framework and agreements within it

The UK’s proposal puts forward the following framework:

  1. Informal discussions.

  2. A formal dispute to be raised in the Joint Committee.

  3. Negotiation for a set period of time in the Joint Committee.

  4. Where the Joint Committee does not resolve the dispute, “[i]n some cases,” an independent arbitration panel to be established including members from both parties. In some instances the panel might include specialist expertise e.g. sectoral knowledge.

  5. Where the dispute relates to interpretation of rules within an agreed common rulebook, there should be the option for a referral to the CJEU for an interpretation (either by mutual consent from the Joint Committee, or from the arbitration panel): “The CJEU would only have a role in relation to the interpretation of those EU rules to which the UK had agreed to adhere as a matter of international law”. The CJEU would not itself resolve the dispute: the Joint Committee or arbitration panel would have to resolve the dispute in a way that was consistent with the CJEU’s interpretation.

  6. This process would be separate to other routes the parties might have for resolving disputes in other international agreements, e.g. under the auspices of WTO.


The White Paper also considers the possibility of non-compliance. It notes that a party may take measures to mitigate harm in a way that is (i) proportionate to the scale of the breach; (ii) temporary and only in effect for, or related to, the period of non-compliance; and (iii) localised to the extent possible to the area of the future relationship that the dispute concerned. It further notes that such measures could include financial penalties and suspension of specific obligations. The proportionality and duration of the measures should be subject to challenge by way of arbitration. The White Paper notes examples of agreements which include financial compensation- such as a number of US trade agreements-and also refers to the provisions of the EEA Agreement which allow for suspension in the case of non-compliance.


Comment


In its “future partnership paper” published on 23 August 2017, the UK did not set out a concrete proposal for resolution of UK-EU disputes, but instead gave a number of illustrative examples from other agreements and considered that the CJEU must not have direct jurisdiction to enforce the obligations imposed by any future relationship agreements.  The UK has now set out a proposal consistent with this position, albeit in relatively little detail. However, the White Paper does move towards the EU’s position released in March 2018, that the CJEU has, under the EU Treaties, an exclusive right to determine matters of EU law. The inclusion of a preliminary reference procedure (to be used by either the Joint Committee or an independent arbitration panel) is therefore a concession to the EU (albeit that the UK could block a reference at Joint Committee level, as it would require mutual consent). The preliminary reference procedure is to be available in limited circumstances-where the rules in dispute form part of an agreed common rule book. In such circumstances, prohibiting divergence of interpretation from rules based on EU law is arguably in the interests of both sides.

As might be expected, whilst offering a framework for potential agreement in principle, further detail will be required to indicate how the dispute resolution framework will operate in practice.  For example, not all disputes between the UK and EU will be referable to arbitration but it is yet to be determined which types of disputes could only be resolved by the Joint Committee.

The proposals as to the composition and appointment of the arbitration panel are stated only in general terms, noting that it would be independent but include representatives from the EU and the UK, and that in some cases arbitrators with specialist or sectoral expertise may be involved.

In short, the UK’s proposal does not push the EU too far from the current position-the CJEU does not have direct jurisdiction over every aspect of the relationship between EU and its member states-and is consistent with general public international law principles whilst recognising the significance of the CJEU’s role in interpreting EU law.

By Andrew Cannon


来源: 临时仲裁ADA,不代表本会意见

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