Law, Justices and Injustices
Edited by Tawhida Ahmed and Elaine Fahey
Chapter 8: Brexit, justice and dispute settlement
One of the most legally complex and politically sensitive issues in the Brexit debate has been the design of dispute settlement procedures. This debate has illustrated how concepts of justice are understood in the context of dispute settlement. Justice in international dispute settlement is commonly framed in terms of fairness, particularly regarding procedure. The chapter first discusses how cases dealing with Brexit before the Court of Justice of the European Union have prioritised justice for the EU and the UK, rather than justice for the citizens of Europe and the individuals who are affected by Brexit. It then shows how the design of dispute settlement mechanism in the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK has been designed to ensure fairness to the parties. These processes provide little scope for justice to be realised by individuals, whose rights will be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the Union. The chapter questions whether inter-state arbitration is the best method to ensure justice in a complex process such as the withdrawal of a Member State from the European Union.
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