Biography

                                

Derrick Wyatt has been a Fellow of St. Edmund Hall and a CUF lecturer since 1978, received the title of Professor in 1996, and retired in 2009.

His teaching included EU law, constitutional and administrative law, and public international law. He was Visiting Professor of Law at Oxford 2009 - 2014, teaching the law of the EU’s internal market.

He has published numerous articles and contributions to books, served on editorial committees and boards and he co-authored Wyatt and Dashwood's European Union Law, in its various editions, the latest being its 6th edition (Hart Publishing 2011). He is a Board Member for the online resource Navigating Brexit, to be published shortly by Intersentia. He is a member of the International Academic Council of Fide Fundacion. Fide is the leading legal-economic think-tank in Spain, committed to involving civil society in the discussion of major legal-economic-scientific developments.

He practised (Queen's Counsel 1993) from Brick Court Chambers until 2018, specialising in litigation before the European Court of Justice and the EU General Court in Luxembourg, and in giving legal advice to businesses and governments. This involved aspects of EU law, issues of public international law, constitutional law in the UK and Cyprus, and, latterly, Brexit issues. He appeared in numerous cases before the European Courts in Luxembourg and represented and/or advised businesses in the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany, and Iran, and the Governments of the UK, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus.

Since the Brexit referendum, he has briefed the media, lawyers and financial service providers on Brexit and negotiations between the UK and the EU. He has appeared before UK Parliamentary Committees giving evidence on Brexit related issues, including the consequences of a "no-deal", and parliamentary scrutiny of the negotiation of trade agreements.

He has recently written for the think-tanks Policy Exchange, UK in a Changing Europe, and Fide Fundacion, on the subjects of judicial reform, the provisional application of EU trade agreements, the threat by the UK Government to break its commitments to the EU on Northern Ireland, and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publications

Recent additions

  • D Wyatt, 'A hard Brexit and an ever closer non-union Part 2, Geography, values and necessity must come to the rescue' (2021) Fide Fundacion
    Derrick Wyatt writes that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which came into force between the UK and the EU on 1st January 2021 is described as a “hard” Brexit because some politicians had argued that a “soft” Brexit was possible. A soft Brexit would have meant continued participation by the UK in a customs union with the EU, and/or in the single market. Neither of these options could have been implemented in a way which would meet the needs of both the UK and the EU, and a soft Brexit was never going to happen. The TCA is a significant event, for all its inevitable shortcomings. It signals that the period when Brexit dominated the relationship between the EU and the UK is over. The UK’s largest opposition party has ruled out seeking to renegotiate the agreement if it comes to power in 2024, and it has ruled out rejoining the EU. In economic terms, the TCA is similar to trade agreements between the EU and countries such as Canada and Japan, with a number of additional features taking account of the close proximity and specific mutual interests of the EU and the UK. These features include trade relations like road haulage, energy, aviation, and digital trade, but also cover cooperation with Europol and Eurojust, and potential participation by the UK in various EU programmes. The TCA provides the basis for a viable and evolving relationship between the UK and the EU, even if it cannot begin to match the advantages of EU Membership. The TCA establishes a partnership which describes as “essential elements” the upholding of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and cooperation in combating climate change, and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These are key commitments, serious breach of which by one party could lead to termination or suspension of the TCA by the other. The EU and the UK aim to cooperate in international forums on global issues such as peace and security, financial stability, and free and fair trade and investment. The UK will not be slow to play its part, and will wish to put behind it its recent ill-judged threat to break its commitments to the EU on Northern Ireland. The UK’s engagement with Europe is driven as much by geography, values and necessity as by the inclinations of any particular government or the contents of any particular treaty relationship. The same goes for the EU’s engagement with the UK. The President of the European Commission has said that Europe can now leave Brexit behind and look to the future. That is the mood of the UK Government too. It is time to move on. Perhaps a close non-union will prove to be moresustainable than the UK’s often half-hearted membership of the EU.
  • D Wyatt and Richard Ekins, 'Reforming the Supreme Court' (2020) Policy Exchange
    The context for this radical and admittedly tentative proposal for reform is the periodic debate about the activism or not of the UK Supreme Court. Derrick Wyatt doe snot take sides in this debate, but argues for a reform that might mitigate the possible institutional tendencies of the UKSC towards activism without undermining the role of the judiciary as a whole in upholding the rule of law and contributing to the evolution of the common law, including constitutional and administrative law. The proposal is to abolish UKSC and replace it with panels drawn from the courts of appeal of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Judges of these courts of appeal would also be members of the new UK Final Court of Appeal. This proposal would increase participation of women and BAME judges at the final appeal stage, as well as increasing participation by judges from Northern Ireland and Scotland in final appeals.
  • D Wyatt, 'A hard Brexit and an ever closer non-union Part 1, Summary' (2020) Fide Fundacion
    Derrick Wyatt writes in this first part of a two-part article for FIDe that a Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK was agreed in principle only a week before the scheduled departure of the UK from the customs union on 1st January 2021. In the short term, the expectation is of confusion and disruption on both sides of the Channel. The deal provides only a shadow of the economic benefits that continued EU membership would have offered. But a soft Brexit was never going to happen, for hard-headed reasons often lost sight of in the years of debate after the Brexit referendum. The agreement was backed in the UK Parliament on 30th December by the UK’s Labour opposition, reluctantly and because the only alternative was a no-deal. When the dust settles, the deal will bring some element of closure to the remain/leave debate (apart from in Scotland), and provide a platform for the UK and the EU to start repairing their bruised political relationship. The UK Government’s quest for a “Global Britain” should not let it forget that Europe still matters to the UK, and the early signs are that the Johnson Government has taken this to heart. The agreement itself foreshadows further agreements between the UK and the EU, and “global cooperation” on a wide range of issues including peace and security and climate change. Boris Johnson has declared that the UK will be the “best friend and ally that the EU could have”, and one of his senior Ministers has referred to a “special relationship”. An ever closer non-union?

Internet Publication (6)

D Wyatt, 'A hard Brexit and an ever closer non-union Part 2, Geography, values and necessity must come to the rescue' (2021) Fide Fundacion
Derrick Wyatt writes that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which came into force between the UK and the EU on 1st January 2021 is described as a “hard” Brexit because some politicians had argued that a “soft” Brexit was possible. A soft Brexit would have meant continued participation by the UK in a customs union with the EU, and/or in the single market. Neither of these options could have been implemented in a way which would meet the needs of both the UK and the EU, and a soft Brexit was never going to happen. The TCA is a significant event, for all its inevitable shortcomings. It signals that the period when Brexit dominated the relationship between the EU and the UK is over. The UK’s largest opposition party has ruled out seeking to renegotiate the agreement if it comes to power in 2024, and it has ruled out rejoining the EU. In economic terms, the TCA is similar to trade agreements between the EU and countries such as Canada and Japan, with a number of additional features taking account of the close proximity and specific mutual interests of the EU and the UK. These features include trade relations like road haulage, energy, aviation, and digital trade, but also cover cooperation with Europol and Eurojust, and potential participation by the UK in various EU programmes. The TCA provides the basis for a viable and evolving relationship between the UK and the EU, even if it cannot begin to match the advantages of EU Membership. The TCA establishes a partnership which describes as “essential elements” the upholding of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and cooperation in combating climate change, and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These are key commitments, serious breach of which by one party could lead to termination or suspension of the TCA by the other. The EU and the UK aim to cooperate in international forums on global issues such as peace and security, financial stability, and free and fair trade and investment. The UK will not be slow to play its part, and will wish to put behind it its recent ill-judged threat to break its commitments to the EU on Northern Ireland. The UK’s engagement with Europe is driven as much by geography, values and necessity as by the inclinations of any particular government or the contents of any particular treaty relationship. The same goes for the EU’s engagement with the UK. The President of the European Commission has said that Europe can now leave Brexit behind and look to the future. That is the mood of the UK Government too. It is time to move on. Perhaps a close non-union will prove to be moresustainable than the UK’s often half-hearted membership of the EU.
D Wyatt, 'A hard Brexit and an ever closer non-union Part 1, Summary' (2020) Fide Fundacion
Derrick Wyatt writes in this first part of a two-part article for FIDe that a Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK was agreed in principle only a week before the scheduled departure of the UK from the customs union on 1st January 2021. In the short term, the expectation is of confusion and disruption on both sides of the Channel. The deal provides only a shadow of the economic benefits that continued EU membership would have offered. But a soft Brexit was never going to happen, for hard-headed reasons often lost sight of in the years of debate after the Brexit referendum. The agreement was backed in the UK Parliament on 30th December by the UK’s Labour opposition, reluctantly and because the only alternative was a no-deal. When the dust settles, the deal will bring some element of closure to the remain/leave debate (apart from in Scotland), and provide a platform for the UK and the EU to start repairing their bruised political relationship. The UK Government’s quest for a “Global Britain” should not let it forget that Europe still matters to the UK, and the early signs are that the Johnson Government has taken this to heart. The agreement itself foreshadows further agreements between the UK and the EU, and “global cooperation” on a wide range of issues including peace and security and climate change. Boris Johnson has declared that the UK will be the “best friend and ally that the EU could have”, and one of his senior Ministers has referred to a “special relationship”. An ever closer non-union?
D Wyatt, 'Is the UK serious about breaking international law and risking a trade war with the EU? The UK's mixed messaging probably amounts to a U-turn.' (2020) Fide Fundacion
Professor Derrick Wyatt, QC, Member of the International Academic Council of FIDE, asks whether the UK Government is risking a trade war with the EU by breaking its commitments on Northern Ireland. He examines the options open to the EU in international law if the UK breaks the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK Government is still pressing ahead with draft legislation which it admits will break international law, yet it has signalled it will only apply that legislation consistently with international law. Nevertheless, it now seems likely that the UK will resolve any difficulties and disagreements which lie ahead through the lawful channels provided in the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement. If the UK Government intends its mixed messaging to signal a u-turn, it is a welcome u-turn, from the perspective of the rule of law. Meanwhile, trade negotiations between the EU and the UK continue, and there is growing optimism that they will be brought to a successful conclusion.
D Wyatt and Richard Ekins, 'Reforming the Supreme Court' (2020) Policy Exchange
The context for this radical and admittedly tentative proposal for reform is the periodic debate about the activism or not of the UK Supreme Court. Derrick Wyatt doe snot take sides in this debate, but argues for a reform that might mitigate the possible institutional tendencies of the UKSC towards activism without undermining the role of the judiciary as a whole in upholding the rule of law and contributing to the evolution of the common law, including constitutional and administrative law. The proposal is to abolish UKSC and replace it with panels drawn from the courts of appeal of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Judges of these courts of appeal would also be members of the new UK Final Court of Appeal. This proposal would increase participation of women and BAME judges at the final appeal stage, as well as increasing participation by judges from Northern Ireland and Scotland in final appeals.

Book (1)

D Wyatt, Wyatt and Dashwood's European Union Law (6th edn Hart Publishing 2011)
In Wyatt and Dashwood's European Union Law, Derrick Wyatt is responsible in particular for the chapters and sections on The Right of Establishment and the Freedom to Provide Services; Corporate Establishment, Cross-Border Acquisitions, Capital Movement (direct investment), and Golden and Special Shares; Company Law Harmonisation (including the European Company Statute, Merger Directive, Takeover Bids Directive etc) ; The Legal Effects of International Agreements; Intellectual Property Rights in the EU, including effects on trade in goods, exhaustion of patent, copyright and trade mark rights, etc.

Interests!

Q.C. 1993. Occasional legal practice, principally before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

Research Interests

European Union Law, International Law, Constitutional Law.

Research projects