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Controversial Investment Court CETA

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Controversial Investment court CETA does not violate European law. The investment court that is part of the CETA free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada is not in violation of European law, the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday.


In September 2017, Belgium requested an opinion from the Court after resistance from Wallonia and Brussels against CETA.

The Belgian government needed to know whether the plan for a so-called Investment Court System,

 a kind of court that investors can appeal to did not go against EU law.

But according to the Court, this is not the case.

Thus, CETA does not affect the autonomy of the legal order in the European Union, the Court concludes.

Worries about courts
The open trade agreement between the EU and the Canadian government was finalised in 2016.

But because the Walloon region voted against, the permission of the contract by the European member states was delayed.

Environmental organisations and trade unions, for example,

 also worried that investors could recover damages from governments through national law against governments.

Governments would then be less inclined to introduce ambitious environmental or labour legislation.

Wallonia eventually agreed to the deal after a new addition.

The Belgian government asked the EU Court whether the investment court was by European law.

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