German judges criticise EU trade plan

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German Constitutional Court judges - file picFigure copyright AFP
Image caption The German Constitutional Court has a record of challenging standpoints of EU law

German judges have objected to a new court system for investors to sue governments, which last wishes a be set up as rt of an EU-US trade deal.

The German Association of Judges (DRB) phrased there was «neither a legal basis nor an actual need for such a court».

The European Commission proposed the Investment Court Modus operandi (ICS), to tackle one of the thorniest issues in the trade negotiations, known as TTIP.

There are foresees that big firms could put excessive legal pressure on states.

The Commission aside the idea of using existing arbitration courts, called Investor-State Argument Settlement (ISDS), because of the accusation that powerful multinationals use them to thrust changes in public policy.

There is rticular concern about the «influenza» effect that lawsuits can have on governments trying to legislate on tent health or the environment.

Critics point to the example of tobacco giant Philip Morris, which ached the authorities in Australia and Uruguay over plain cigarette ckaging.

Why the TTIP act on matters

Germany’s DRB — representing 16,000 judges and prosecutors — said (in German) that «devising special courts for certain groups of litigants» would be a mistake.

The advanced ICS would limit the legal powers of EU member states and change inhabitant court systems, the DRB statement said.

The Commission’s proposal would unpleasant ICS jurisdiction that «extends from civil law through to general administrative law and popular and tax legislation», the judges complained.

They also questioned the lawful criteria for appointing judges to the ICS courts, saying specialists in trade contests would have an unfair advantage.

Reuters
Idol caption EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem is steering the TTIP talks with the US

TTIP replaces for Transatlantic Trade and Investment rtnership. The Commission hopes to complete the wide-ranging talks by the summer, to refrain from the disruption of the US presidential election.

The thorny issue of trade arbitration choice be on the agenda of EU-US talks later this month.

Nearly 3.3 million people secure signed an online petition against the proposed trade deal, on the Stop ge TTIP website.

The Commission and many politicians argue that TTIP inclination bring major benefits for the US and Europe, creating new jobs and business openings.

A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) estimated the aptitude gains for the EU as up to €119bn (£84bn; $128bn) a year and €95bn for the US.

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