CJEU issues its decision in Gazprom on the interaction between anti-suit injunctions and the Brussels Regulation
10 June 2015
Client Alert | EU | International Dispute Resolution | June 2015
On 13 May 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") reached its decision in the case of Gazprom OAO (C-536/13) following a referral from the Lithuanian Supreme Court. The decision clarifies the interpretation of the arbitration exclusion contained in Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 (the "Brussels Regulation"), in particular with respect to the enforcement of anti-suit injunctions issued by arbitral tribunals.
As explained in an earlier client alert (available here), the Lithuanian Supreme Court had asked the CJEU to consider whether the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award, which included an anti-suit injunction, was compatible with the Brussels Regulation.
It had previously been held (following the CJEU decision in West Tankers) that anti-suit injunctions issued by Member States in support of arbitral proceedings were incompatible with the Brussels Regulation, notably as they would restrict the right of Member State courts to determine their own jurisdiction.
The CJEU distinguished the Gazprom case from West Tankers on the basis that in the Gazprom case, the anti-suit injunction had been issued by an arbitral tribunal (rather than by the court of a Member State). Since the Brussels Regulation governs only conflicts of jurisdiction between courts of Member States, decisions of arbitral tribunals fall outside of its scope.