Case Report (free download)
Case Report by Mihaela Apostol, Editor: Diego Luis Alonso Massa
UP, formerly known as Le Chèque Déjeuner ("LCD"), a cooperative company incorporated under the laws of France, and C.D Holding Internationale ("CD Internationale"), a simplified joint stock company, wholly owned by UP and organized under the laws of France (collectively the "Claimants") brought an action against Hungary, as a sovereign state (the "Respondent")requesting damages of EUR 27.4 million, pursuant to the bilateral investment treaty between France and Hungary - 1986 (the "BIT"). The Claimants, primarily active in the food voucher business, alleged that the legislative reform adopted by Hungary in 2011 (the "2011 Reform") led to the expropriation of the Claimants' investment (under Article 5 (2) of the BIT) and constituted a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard (under Article 3 of the BIT). After deciding that the Tribunal has jurisdiction over all the claims, the Respondent brought to the attention of the Tribunal the CJEU judgement in the Achmea case. The Tribunal rejected the objection based on several substantial differences between the two cases and concluded that Achmea does not have any impact on Tribunal's jurisdiction. On the merits, Hungary was held liable for expropriation and obliged to pay EUR 23,196,000 (plus interest) to the Claimants. For rationale of procedural economy, the Tribunal did not analyze the allegations related to the breach of FET.
What is the relevance, if any, of the Achmea Decision; Whether the measures implemented by Hungary are tantamount to expropriation under Article 5 (2) of the BIT; Whether the measures adopted by Hungary led to a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard under Article 3 of the BIT.
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