Preliminary Reference


Closing Pandora’s Box – is “welfare tourism” really a threat?

Gan Hui Zhen | JD Candidate, Columbia Law School 2018 When the EU Member States introduced EU Citizenship into the 1993 Maastricht Treaty, they arguably did not foresee that this would open up the Pandora’s box that eventually led to the creation of “welfare tourism.” After all, EU Citizenship as originally conceived only granted a small range of civil and political rights – most significantly, the right to vote, and the right to stand as candidate in elections to the European Parliament, as embodied in Article 20, Section 2(a) TFEU. However, EU Citizenship underwent a radical expansion, enabled by the […]


The Role of The European Union in the Healthcare Market

Margherita Anchini | PhD Candidate, Sapienza Law School (Rome) 1. Introduction The role of the European Union in the sphere of public services has always been problematic. Before the creation of a European concept of public service, national authorities had wide discretion to define the concept, and they exercised this power for the purpose of removing particular sectors from the application of EU law (especially competition rules). If some space for national discretion persists, it is clearly limited. In an international context, the concept of public service is a convenient shorthand for utilities and welfare services. In light of the […]


Tempted by an Apple: Europe’s Fall from Grace on Retroactive Taxation

Joanna Diane Caytas JD Candidate, Columbia Law School 2017 The post-2008 public debt crisis alerted the Eurozone – and Europe as a whole – to its dangerous love affair with the outdated notion that states cannot go bankrupt and therefore can take on quasi-unlimited levels of debt. Greece and Cyprus called this bluff in 2012-13 with dramatic consequences. Ever since, the continent has been in search of ways and means to bring under control unsustainable levels of sovereign borrowings that cannot be passed on to the banking and financial sector without laying the foundation for equally expensive bailouts. Just as […]


Would a closed European soccer league violate TFEU Article 101?

Aaron Rogoff | J.D. Candidate 2017, Columbia Law School | Editor-in-Chief Is European soccer headed for a competition law standoff? The monumental growth in revenue from the sale of TV broadcasting rights for Europe’s major soccer leagues has made membership in a top league a valuable economic right. European leagues differ from the “Big Four” U.S. sports leagues (the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL) in that league membership is not fixed. In the U.S., any change in team membership requires collective action by the ownership of all existing teams, whereas in Europe the makeup of each domestic league changes on an […]


Tax Inversions and the Lure of the “Celtic Tiger”

Caroline Ceriello, J.D. Candidate 2017, Columbia Law School With its remarkably low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, Ireland has become home to many companies formerly headquartered in the United States and seeking refuge from the 35% U.S. tax rate. In this context, a “tax inversion” usually refers to a corporate restructuring in which a U.S. corporation is acquired by a foreign holding company and assumes its foreign headquarters as a subsidiary. However, the entity remains listed under the U.S. issuer’s name in U.S. securities markets. As Professor Eric Talley emphasizes, there are three key unique features of the U.S. tax […]


Europe Grapples with Outdated Lèse-Majesté Laws

HY Kim, J.D. Candidate 2017, Columbia Law School Background On March 31, 2016, a German satirist, Jan Böhmermann, ignited a debate on the relevance of an arguably outdated statute by reading an obscene poem about the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the weekly German satirical show “Neo Magazin Royal.” The poem included insults and made light of the very fact that the act of reciting such a poem would be considered illegal in Turkey. Little did Böhmermann know, this act was also illegal in Germany. After the conclusion of an investigation, launched by Chancellor Angela Merkel at the request […]


A Multilevel Approach to Publicity under European Law

Emmanouil Bougiakiotis, LLB, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, Legal Intern at the Hellenic Data Protection Authority. All views expressed are personal. I. Introduction Publicity is a notion that becomes a matter of growing importance in European law, as it can affect numerous rights, such as. the rights to privacy, personal data, freedom of expression and, to some extent, the right of access to documents. However, almost no attention has been given to the conceptual issues with regard to the notion of publication and its characteristics, although they may be crucial in the outcome of a legal judgement. A characteristic example of […]


The U.K. Votes Out: What Happens Next

Colleen Baehrend, J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School 2017   The process of unravelling the partnership between the one of the largest economies in the world and the most prominent trade bloc comes down to only 261 words: the text of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. With such brief guidelines and no precedent to work with, how exactly the divorce between the U.K. and EU will proceed is shrouded in uncertainty. Starting at the source, Article 50(1) gives Member States the right to withdraw from the EU “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” Thus, Article 50 must be invoked […]


AG Wathelet suggests how conditions for transfer of proceedings under Article 15 of the Brussels II bis Regulation should be interpreted

Dr. Agne Limante, Law Institute of Lithuania On 16th June 2016 the Advocate General Melchior Wathelet issued his opinion in Child and Family Agency (CAFA) v. J. D. In it, the Advocate General offered his position as to how conditions for the transfer of proceedings under Article 15 of the Brussels II bis Regulation should be interpreted. This opinion is of interest to those dealing with private international law and family law issues, and especially to those interested with the application of the Brussels II bis Regulation. The Brussels II bis Regulation establishes rules for jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments […]


Developing Blockchain Real-Time Clearing and Settlement in the EU, U.S., and Globally

Joanna Diane Caytas J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School 2017 Framing the issue U.S. and European payment systems as we fondly know them are notoriously antediluvian. In China, all a consumer needs to do to send money is to input on their phone the beneficiary’s 16-18 digit account number, name, and bank name. Final credit is typically received in 5 seconds – not up to 5 hours, as for a U.S. domestic wire. Nor do Chinese consumers experience the grotesque fees charged for Western Union’s “instant money,” which in most cases still requires a trip to clear physical cash. There is […]


Risk Finance in the UK Pharma Sector: Why the Industry is Right to Fear a Brexit

Aaron Rogoff J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School 2017 Editor-In-Chief, Columbia Journal of European Law Introduction – What is at Stake for UK Pharma The British pharmaceutical industry employs 183,000 people and accounts for annual sales worth £ 56 billion (€ 71.39 billion).  Its leaders have been vocal opponents of the UK referendum to leave the EU. Their comments refer to a number of negative implications for pharmaceutical companies, including the loss of their investment in achieving regulatory alignment for drug development under the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the cost and instability that will result if that regime must be revised […]


Final thoughts on (a potential) Brexit: Imposing (and accepting) constraints on sovereignty

by Brian Christopher Jones, Lecturer in Public Law, Liverpool Hope University. Justifications for constraints or losses of sovereignty have particular merits, some more defensible than others. In the UK’s case, there is little doubt that joining the EU has resulted in at least some loss of sovereignty (despite the fact that Parliament retains the right to repeal the European Communities Act 1972). Even though the UK knew going in that there were serious sovereignty implications, probably few could have predicted in 1972 that the EU would now resemble such a close political union, potentially on the verge of incorporating a federalist […]


Home Sweett Home? Sweett Group and the UK Bribery Act

Dr. Marcel Gade LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2016 Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt – Seneca On February 19, 2016 Sweett Group plc (Sweett), a UK based construction company, was sentenced in the Southwark Crown Court pursuant to Section 7 of the UK Bribery Act 2010 to a payment of about £2.25m, consisting of a fine of £1.4m, a confiscation amount of £851,152 and £95,000 in prosecution costs. The sentence followed a guilty plea in December 2015 and ended a one-year long investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). So, what had happened? In 2014 the SFO started investigating allegations that […]


EU-US Privacy Shield: The Future Framework for Transatlantic Data Flows?

Marjorie Becker LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2016 By striking down the 15-year old Safe Harbor Framework in its decision Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner on October 6, 2015,[1] the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) left most self-certified U.S. companies in limbo. The Privacy Shield announced on February 2, 2016 by the EU Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), however, may yet provide relief to some of them. This new framework comprises various documents—summarized in the draft adequacy decision and related annexes released on February 29, 2016—and aims to comply with the requirements of Schrems by […]


Disposing of Relics: Overt and Covert Blasphemy Statutes in Europe

Joanna Diane Caytas J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 Introduction The murderous rampages at Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015, in Copenhagen in February 2015, and all across Paris on November 13, 2015 not only shocked the world’s conscience but also resurfaced a controversy over blasphemy laws that, prior to the advent of fundamentalist religious terrorism, had been thought a relic of a bygone era. These rampages also sparked discussions concerning the existence of a common European identity of values, secular humanism as a minimum constitutional denominator, and the difference between attacking people and ideas. Islamic groups are the […]


Brexit: Path to Scottish Independence?

Justin Lee J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 A referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union (the Brexit referendum) is set to take place on June 23, 2016. Facing the rise of the anti-EU UK Independence Party and convincing predictions for a hung parliament, UK Prime Minister David Cameron had promised the Brexit referendum as part of his 2015 General Election campaign. Cameron led his Conservative Party to victory and become the second Prime Minister of the UK, only after Margaret Thatcher, to increase his party’s majority while in power. The Prime Minister, who is in the […]


The Road to Luxembourg: Columbia Law School in the European Law Moot Court Finals

Columbia Law School’s first-year students are given the unique opportunity to participate in moot court competitions at the beginning of their law school tenure. One of the international moot court programs with a strong tradition at CLS is the European Law Moot Court. On February 6, 2016, the team of César Rivere ’18, Eliana Sanchez ’18, Jake Bogart ’18, and Rachel LaFortune ’18 competed in a regional final at the University of Helsinki in Finland. The following weekend, the team of Ani Hamparsumyan ’17, Emily Hush ’18, Julie Nkodo ’18, and Kate Witchger ’18 competed at the National and Kapodistrian […]


Judicial Appointments in the Italian and U.S. Supreme Courts: A Brief Comparison

Giacomo Bertolissi LL.M., Columbia Law School, 2016 Despite a general understanding that courts should respect the principle of separation of powers,[1] American justices have often been criticized for making policy judgments.[2] In the recent Obergefell case, Justice Scalia affirmed that “[t]oday’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.” A similar criticism may be found in Italy. Even though Article 28 of the Legge 11 marzo 1953, n. 87 provides that the Italian Constitutional Court should refrain from interfering with the legislature’s discretion, the Italian […]


The End of a Safe Harbor: The Schrems Decision Calls for Stricter Standards for Protection of Personal Data Transferred to the US

Traci Biedermann J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 Scrutiny of the United States’ measures for protection of personal data from government surveillance has increased following Snowden’s revelations regarding the National Security Agency (NSA). In fact, these revelations are still making ripples in the area of data protection, one such being the case of Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner (Case C-362/14). Fearing that his data was being improperly protected after transmission to the US by Facebook, Maximillian Schrems, filed a complaint alleging that the US did not have adequate protections against government surveillance of his personal data. Under the EU Data […]


Land Grabbing in Cambodia: Redress Found in UK Courts?

Elaine Sun J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, 2017 In recent years, land grabbing has become increasingly prevalent in Cambodia. The most extensive instances are economic land concessions (ELCs), whereby up to 10,000 hectares of government land per concession can be granted to private companies for agro-industrial exploitation for some fixed period of years, capped at 99 years. The 2001 Land Law of Cambodia also allows the government to expropriate private land from citizens for ELCs “in accordance with the provisions of the law,” and the Cambodian Constitution governs that expropriation “shall require fair and just compensation in advance.” In reality, […]