Arbitration cases and preliminary references to the European Court of Justice—an assessment of ‘the Danish Solution’

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When a case, that is pending before a national court in one of the Member States of the European Union, requires a decision on the interpretation or validity of an EU legal measure, the national court can seek a preliminary ruling on the matter from the European Court of Justice before deciding the main action. In its preliminary ruling, the European Court of Justice establishes authoritatively the interpretation or validity of the relevant EU legislation. When EU law plays a role in commercial arbitration it may be very useful for arbitration tribunals to have access to the preliminary reference procedure. However, according to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, only ‘a court or tribunal of a Member State’ can make a preliminary reference and this notion does not include commercial arbitration tribunals. In order to give arbitration tribunals access to the preliminary reference procedure Denmark has introduced a scheme which allows them to ask the ordinary Danish courts to make preliminary references on behalf of the arbitration tribunal. This article explains the Danish scheme and considers to what extent it provides a useful model for other Member States.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArbitration International
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
ISSN0957-0411
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020

ID: 237435218