People - 30.12.2011 - 00:00 

Carl Baudenbacher re-elected

Prof. Dr. Carl Baudenbacher has been re-elected president of the court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Luxembourg. His fourth term of office will last from January 2012 through 2014.


28 December 2011. The EFTA court is the justice agency of the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway that belong to the treaty on the European Economic Area EEA. These three countries form the so-called EFTA pillar. The EFTA court has jurisdiction over breach-of-contract proceedings of the EFTA Surveillance Authority against the three countries, over actions for annulment by private individuals and countries against decisions of the Surveillance Authority and over requests for a preliminary ruling by national courts of the three countries.

EFTA judge for more than 16 years

Switzerland took part in deliberating the EEA treaty in 1989-92 and was a key influence, but was unable to ratify it after the negative outcome of the referendum on December 6, 1992. Baudenbacher, a Swiss citizen, is professor at the Institute of European and International Business Law (EUR-HSG) and director of the Executive Master in European and International Business Law (M.B.L.-HSG). At the suggestion of the government of Liechtenstein, he was appointed judge at the EFTA court by a common decision of the EEA/EFTA countries’ governments in 1995. Since 2003, he has been the court’s president. Baudenbacher was the main advisor to the Liechtenstein government during the EEA negotiations.

Will Switzerland dock onto the court?

In addition to its role as court of the EFTA pillar, the EFTA court has considerable influence over the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The respective justice dialogue takes place explicitly and implicitly. For some time, the EFTA court has been discussed as the possible justice agency for the control of the adherence to the bilateral contracts that Switzerland has entered into with the European Union. The EU favors Switzerland docking onto the EFTA court, and Switzerland could in turn supply her own judge. In Switzerland, the decision-making process is not yet finished.

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