Transit disputes, supply disputes and the ECT: towards an East-West thaw? Some observations from an international trade law perspective - Chapter 12 - Energy Dispute Resolution: Investment Protection, Transit and the Energy Charter Treaty
Colin M. Brown
PDF from "Energy Dispute Resolution: Investment Protection, Transit and the Energy Charter Treaty"
Colin Brown is a lawyer in Unit F.2 (Legal Aspects of Trade Policy) of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission where he advises on a range of trade and investment issues, including the dispute settlement aspects of the EU's new competence for investment, trade and energy, trade and environment, public procurement and a range of regulatory matters. He advises on institutional issues, including the changes to EU trade policy brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and coordinates DG TRADE's legal work on bilateral negotiations.
The January 2009 gas crisis was treated largely as a political issue, in which the framework provided by international trade law for the movement of gas was, at best, a mere afterthought. This contribution seeks to shed some light on the legal framework which was available and asks some questions as to why the legal framework was relegated to what appeared to be an afterthought.
The events leading to the January 2009 crisis have been well documented and do not require repetition.1 For the purposes of this analysis, is it not necessary to delve further, and determine which entities did what, precisely when and then seek to allocate legal responsibility. Indeed, it is not the purpose of this analysis to seek to allocate legal responsibility. Rather, this contribution seeks to tease out the legal framework which was the backdrop to the crisis but which has been relatively little discussed, seeks to identify shortcomings and offer some tentative suggestions as to what "legal" improvements could be made.