Latest developments in the Micula saga

The Supreme Court was due to hear this week appeals from the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Micula v Romania.  This dispute centres on the clash between an international investment arbitration award (rendered under the ICSID Convention), and a European Commission decision.  The ICSID Award orders Romania to pay the Micula parties substantial damages for breaches of investment protection; the Commission Decision (adopted after the Award was rendered) finds that payment of the Award would be State aid.

The Micula parties sought to enforce the Award in the Commercial Court in London and also challenged the Commission Decision in the General Court of the EU.  Blair J and then the Court of Appeal found that enforcement of the Award would be in breach of EU law, and stayed enforcement pending the outcome of the GCEU challenge.  The Court of Appeal also ordered Romania to pay security for the Award to the Micula parties in the interim: see previous blog post here.  Both the stay and the security were appealed to the Supreme Court.

On the morning of the first day listed for the Supreme Court hearing, the General Court delivered judgment annulling the Decision.  The Supreme Court noted that the stay of enforcement in the UK lifted upon that judgment being given.  While the Commission has previously indicated that it would be likely to appeal any annulment to the CJEU, at the time the Supreme Court hearing began no appeal had obviously been brought and no application for the stay to be extended pending that appeal had been made.  The panel heard submissions inviting the Court to proceed with the appeals but decided to adjourn the hearing until 7-9 October 2019.

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