[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official site] on Tuesday ruled [press release, PDF] member states must sign off on trade deals before they become law. The ruling [text] found that the member states and the European Union (EU) [official website] share competence in many areas involving trade and if the EU does not hold exclusive competence the member states must ratify the measure. The ruling centered on a free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore that was referred to the court for legal clarity. The court found the EU had competence in intellectual property rights and sustainable development, but they can not determine dispute settlements and non-direct foreign investment.
The ECJ continues to rule on contested jurisdictional issues. The ECJ on Thursday issued a non-binding opinion [JURIST report] finding that Uber is a transportation company subject to additional regulations and fines. The ECJ in April upheld [JURIST report] a visa ban on an Iranian student seeking to study in Germany. In March the ECJ ruled [JURIST report] that the bloc's economic sanctions placed on Russia were valid. Also in March the ECJ rejected [JURIST report] an argument by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam requesting that their activities not be classified as "terrorist acts."