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Armstrong DLW GmbH v. Winnington Networks Ltd (High Court of England and Wales, 2012, EWHC 10)

Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

Principle law(s): Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) (Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community)

Side A: Armstrong DLW GMBH (Corporation)

Side B: Winnington Networks (Corporation)

Core objectives: To determine the legal status of European Union Allowances (EUAs) under English law.

Under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), European Union Allowances (EUAs) are now classified as intangible property under English law. As a result of a fraudulent sale to Winnington of EUAs belonging to Armstrong, it was necessary to determine, among other things, their status under law. To determine the status of EUAs, the Court applied a three-part test identified in Re Celtic Extraction. In order for EUAs to be considered property, there must be statutory framework conferring an entitlement on their holder to an exemption from a fine, the "property" must be transferable under a statutory framework, and the "property" must have value. The Court classified EUAs as intangible property at common law, as they satisfy the three prongs of the test, and determined that since EUAs may be subject to restitutionary claims, Armstrong was entitled to a money judgment.
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