The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (‘CISG’) epitomises the UNCITRAL’s endeavour to progressively unify and harmonise commercial law across the boundaries of nation-states. While the mere adoption and wide acceptance of the CISG are milestones in and of themselves, we should also not overlook the rich body of the…

Foodora Leaves Canada The pandemic of 2020 is a demarcation point that will take some time to understand. In the midst of such profound changes to daily life, labour law remains one background to these challenges. After its riders in the Canadian province of Ontario won a challenge to their union certification on 28 February…

Jeremias Adams-Prassl, Antonio Aloisi, Nicola Countouris, Valerio De Stefano   In late April 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU handed down an order in response to a request for a preliminary ruling on working time protection from a UK employment tribunal. The case dealt with the distinction between genuine self-employed persons excluded from…

Introduction The definition of the territorial limits of the State of Israel is one of the main reasons behind the conflict in the Middle East, with consequences that often extend beyond the classic issues of international politics. As known, the last massive Israeli expansion occurred in 1967 with the Six-Day War and currently the Golan…

Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary © David Mangan

Can an employee be an expert in her work, beyond her employment?  Employees engaged in knowledge or service industries have taken the initiative to also market themselves as leaders in their industries using online sources. Platforms such as LinkedIn may be used. Alternatively, a website that offers industry-specific information may be created by the employee. The…

5G is the most advanced technology in mobile communications. In fall 2018, at the forefront in Europe, Italy arranged a successful multi-billion euro auction for 5G spectrum. On the side, the administration allowed a few operators to convert old WiMax licenses to 5G usage, for a few million euro. A legal battle arose. In November…

The law of obligations and SMEs With its first released decision of 2019, the Ontario (Canada) Court of Appeal added itself to the growing list of Uber litigation Heller v Uber Technologies Inc 2019 ONCA 1. Most often, Uber drivers challenge their employment status. Largely, courts have found against Uber; drivers fall into some aspect…

In its first judgment regarding the European Commission’s recent fiscal State aid decisions, the EU General Court (GC) last week annulled the Commission’s decision of 11 January 2016 on Belgium’s so-called “excess profit rulings”. The exemption for “excess” profits The case concerns a specific provision in Belgian tax law, which provides for the possibility to…

The employment status of platform workers has been the subject of extensive litigation in the last couple of years. In many parts of the world, these workers have tried to obtain reclassification as employees in court. In a previous blog, I have highlighted how far too often the workers’ claims have been rejected on the…

On April 19, 2018, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered a judgment dealing with the notions of abusive discrimination and competitive advantage under Article 102(2)(c) TFEU. The case concerned abusive price discrimination by a dominant company, between two customers competing in a downstream market (so-called non-exclusionary abusive discrimination). While ostensibly attempting to adapt the…

The United Kingdom Supreme court confirmed on 13 June 2018 in the case of Pimlico v Smith what another three lower courts had already decided in the same case: that attempts by employers to label workers as self-employed under elaborate contractual arrangements can be unravelled by the judiciary to benefit the individuals. This decision follows…

Introduction On 21 February 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union interpreted the notion of ‘working time’ mentioned in the European Working Time Directive (2003/88). The Court stated that stand-by time which a worker spends at home with the duty to respond to calls from his employer must be regarded as ‘working time’….

On Saint Nicholas’ birthday 2017 (6 December), the Court of Justice (the Court) held that selective distribution agreements, which prevent authorised distributors from using unauthorised third-party (online) platforms to sell luxury goods can in principle be compatible with Article 101(1) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); the prohibition on anti-competitive…

Since 2013, the European Commission has taken an increasing interest in Member States’ practices of granting tax benefits to mainly multinational undertakings by means of individual tax rulings or specifically tailored tax agreements. In this respect, the Commission in October 2015 found that the Netherlands has given unlawful aid to Starbucks and Luxemburg to Fiat…

On September 14, 2017, the EU Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling in Case C-177/16, Akka-Laa, on excessive pricing in the collective management of copyright licences. In 2013, the Latvian Competition Council fined Akka-Laa for abusing its dominance by imposing too high rates for its services. Akka-Laa is a copyright management organization. It enjoyed a…

In the “Trade for all” strategy issued in October 2015, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström explained how the Juncker Commission would translate the strong commitment to transparency into concrete actions in the EU’s trade policy. The actions identified by the Commission to increase transparency in trade defence as laid down in the Trade for…

On 18 July 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court issued its second preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This time, it doubts the legality of the ‘Quantitative Easing’ programme of the European Central Bank. The first reference, from 2014, also concerned central bank action. At the height of the debt…