Effective judicial protection of bank depositors during the financial crisis and arbitration in an EU context

Christofi, Despina orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0700-7494 (2018) Effective judicial protection of bank depositors during the financial crisis and arbitration in an EU context. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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It is generally assumed that the EU law regime excludes arbitration from its scope, since issues of EU law must be resolved within the EU legal order, according to the wording of the Treaties and the case law of the CJEU. It is also assumed that courts offer adequate and effective protection to litigants, thus arbitration does not make any further contribution to parties. This thesis challenges these ontological assumptions, using the case of bank depositors, and aims to investigate whether courts within the EU protect bank depositors effectively or whether arbitration would offer further protection. For this purpose, the nature of bank deposits is considered, and the approach of courts and arbitrators towards depositors are comparatively analysed, based on effectiveness of protection, as the appropriate tool of assessment. The findings of this examination lead to the final research question regarding the role, if any, of arbitration within the EU legal order and the relationship between arbitration and litigation, in particular within the context of the global financial crisis. Thus, the central argument of this thesis is that, if it is accepted that arbitration does have a place in the EU legal order, and based on the argument that bank deposits qualify as investment, bank depositors can enjoy the protection offered by international investment arbitration, which can protect them more effectively than litigation
The originality of this work centers around three points. Firstly, this thesis aims to use the principle of effectiveness in a substantial sense rather than its procedural meaning, considering whether individuals do not only access the justice, but also being remedied effectively. Secondly, this thesis argues that bank deposits can be treated as investment, thus depositors could enjoy further protection offered by investment law. Finally, the thesis supports that the EU law regime does have some place available for arbitration, albeit its traditional exclusion, especially during the particular period of the financial crisis.

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