The European Nuclear Energy Tribunal was set up by the Convention on the Establishment of a Security Control in the Field of Nuclear Energy (hereafter the "Security Control Convention") and its Protocol on the Tribunal established by the Security Control Convention (hereafter the "Protocol on the Tribunal"), both adopted on 20 December 1957.
The Security Control Convention and its Protocol on the Tribunal came into force on 22 July 1959 and the first judges were appointed on 1 January 1960.
The European Nuclear Energy Tribunal was initially established to settle disputes arising out of the implementation of the security control mechanism, designed to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons under the Security Control Convention. The Tribunal’s competence was later extended to the settlement of disputes arising between Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 29 July 1960 as amended (hereafter the "Paris Convention") and the Brussels Convention of 31 January 1963 Supplementary to the Paris Convention as amended (hereafter the "Brussels Supplementary Convention").
Indeed, in accordance with Articles 17 of the Paris Convention and Brussels Supplementary Convention, any dispute arising between two or more Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of either Convention shall be examined by the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy and in the absence of a friendly settlement shall, upon the request of a Contracting Party concerned, be submitted to the Tribunal. The agreement of another Party is therefore not necessary to submit a claim.
In 1976, the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy decided to suspend the implementation of the security control mechanism, in order to avoid duplication with similar systems established under the framework of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and of the International Atomic Energy Agency [NE(76)15, NE/M(76)2]. Since then, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal has been limited to resolving differences concerning the interpretation or application of the above-mentioned Paris Convention and Brussels Supplementary Conventions.
The Tribunal is composed of seven independent judges appointed for a five-year term by the OECD Council on the basis of a system of rotation between States Parties to the Security Control Convention and to the Paris Convention and of a registrar. If the Tribunal does not include a judge of the same nationality as one of the Contracting Parties in a case under consideration, the government concerned may designate a person to sit as an additional judge in that particular case.
Decisions are binding from the date upon which they are delivered. There have been no cases submitted to the Tribunal so far.
The judges appointed by the OECD Council for the term of office commencing 1 January 2020 and ending on 31 December 2024 are:
The States Parties to the Security Control Convention are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The States Parties to the Paris Convention are: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,* Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The Registrar of the Tribunal is currently Ms Ximena VÁSQUEZ-MAIGNAN, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.
The seat of the European Nuclear Energy Tribunal is in Paris, France, at the OECD headquarters, pursuant to Article 7(b) of the Protocol on the Tribunal.
At present, the functioning of the Tribunal is governed by the Security Control Convention, its Protocol on the Tribunal, the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and the relevant provisions of the Paris Convention and Brussels Supplementary Convention.
In accordance with Article 12(d) of the Security Control Convention, the Tribunal adopts its own Rules of Procedure, subject to the approval of the OECD Council. The Rules of Procedure of the European Nuclear Energy Tribunal were approved by the OECD Council on 11 December 1962 and last amended on 19 March 2020.
* Switzerland has signed the 1960 Paris Convention, the 1964 Additional and the 1982 and 2004 Protocols to amend the Paris Convention. On 9 March 2009, Switzerland deposited its instrument of ratification of the 1960 Paris Convention as amended by the 1964, 1982 and 2004 amending Protocols. As this ratification is effective only with respect to the 1960 Paris Convention as amended by all three Protocols, entry into force for Switzerland of the Paris Convention as so amended will only take place once the 2004 Protocol to amend the Paris Convention has itself entered into force.
The Brussels Supplementary Convention establishes a scheme to provide compensation supplementary to that required by the Paris Convention. The BSC is open only to contracting parties to the Paris Convention.
The Paris Convention establishes a nuclear liability and compensation regime to compensate victims of a nuclear accident. The PC is open to OECD member countries as of right and non-member countries with the consent of all the contracting parties to the Paris Convention.