Interactions between courts and administrative authorities in EU competition law enforcement

Wright, Kathryn (2012) Interactions between courts and administrative authorities in EU competition law enforcement. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The EU competition law reforms of 2004 decentralised enforcement from the European
Commission to national competition authorities and national courts, while the European
Commission remains central to the system. This thesis responds to a need for research into
how institutions interact in this system of concurrent competences to effectively enforce
the EU competition rules. It explores the constitutional consequences of the methods for
ensuring coherent interpretation and effective application of the EU competition rules,
through case studies on the interaction between courts and administrative authorities and
between the supranational and national levels. With a focus on the role of courts, the thesis
draws on the EU principle of institutional balance and the concept of interpretative
pluralism. It finds that while apparently empowering (national) courts, the post‐2004
regime still limits the ambit of judicial competence in favour of administrative bodies. The
European Commission can influence interpretation of the competition rules in national
court proceedings as well as in the European Competition Network of competition
authorities, in which the Court of Justice of the European Union has in effect handed over
responsibility. In an extension of national courts’ obligation not to rule counter to a
European Commission decision, forthcoming legislation proposes they should be bound by
national competition authority decisions. The thesis argues that there should be more
emphasis on horizontal relationships between courts, led by judges themselves. This
would not only lend itself to coherent – and effective – application of competition law, but
would allow courts to push back against the apparent dominance of administrative
authorities in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 02 May 2013 11:44
Last Modified: 02 May 2013 11:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/42353
DOI:

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