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Antitrust Laws in Western Balkans – Following the EU Path? The right to an independent and impartial tribunal in EU competition law proceedings - the European.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "Antitrust Laws in Western Balkans – Following the EU Path? The right to an independent and impartial tribunal in EU competition law proceedings - the European."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 Antitrust Laws in Western Balkans – Following the EU Path? The right to an independent and impartial tribunal in EU competition law proceedings - the European Commission as prosecutor, judge and jury Dr. Ingo Klauß Belgrade, 26 May 2010

2 1 Introduction Article 6(1) sentence 1 ECHR: In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Relevant questions: >Do EU competition proceedings fall within the scope of this Article 6 ECHR? >If so, is this right to an independent and impartial tribunal infringed because the Commission as an administrative body can impose fines? >If so, does it help that we have a two tier set-up with the fining decision of the Commission being subject to judicial review by the General Court and the Court of Justice? >What can we do? What should be done?

3 2 Theses >Given the rapid criminalisation of EU competition law proceedings, sanctions in such proceedings should in principle be imposed at first instance by an independent and impartial tribunal fulfilling all the conditions of Article 6 ECHR. >The Commission, which combines the investigative and prosecutorial with adjudicative functions, does not qualify as an independent and impartial tribunal within the meaning of Article 6 ECHR. >At the very least, the sanctions imposed by the Commission should be subject to full judicial review by an independent and impartial tribunal in order to comply with Article 6 ECHR and to cure the defects of the administrative procedure. >It is doubtful, whether such a full jurisdictional review is currently available at the EU-level in competition cases.

4 3 First question Do EU competition proceedings fall within the scope of this Article 6 ECHR? Four criteria for the definition of criminal charges: >Classification of the infringement under domestic law; >Whether the norm is only addressed to a specific group or is of generally binding character; >Whether the sanctions imposed are not merely compensatory but are punitive and meant to have deterrent effect; >Whether the level of the sanction and the stigma attaching to the offence is important. First Answer: Yes. EU competition proceedings imposing fines relate to the determination of a criminal charge within the meaning of Article 6 ECHR.

5 4 Second question Is the right to an independent and impartial tribunal infringed because the Commission as an administrative body can impose fines? Second answer: Yes. >Principle: an independent and impartial tribunal is required at first instance (ECtHR,Jussila, 2006). >The Commission is not such a tribunal.

6 5 Third question Does it help that we have a two tier set-up with judicial control by the courts of the EU? Third answer: No. >In criminal cases a two tier set-up with an administrative decision on the first level and subsequent appeal to a tribunal, is admitted in narrowly defined exceptional circumstances only (ECtHR, Le Compte 1983; Öztürk 1984; Bendenoun 1994). >These exceptions do not apply.The general principle of first instance tribunal applies. Conclusion: Having EU competition law cases heard by the Commission at first instance is incompatible with Article 6 ECHR.

7 6 At the very least there should be full judicial review >Where the European Court of Human Rights considers a two tier set- up acceptable under Article 6 ECHR, it requires subsequent control by a tribunal that has full jurisdiction. >Strict approach to full judicial review in criminal cases (e.g. Kyprianou 2004). >Only limited review by Court of Justice (deference language) >Remia (1985) >Dansk Rørindustri (2005)

8 7 Fourth question What can we do? What should be done? >At the first instance level >At the appeal level

9 8 Linklaters LLP Königsallee Düsseldorf Postfach Düsseldorf Tel: (+49) Fax: (+49) Linklaters ist seit dem 1. Mai 2007 eine Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) englischen Rechts. Die Bezugnahme auf Linklaters in diesem Dokument meint Linklaters LLP und ggf. verbundene Gesellschaften weltweit. Linklaters LLP ist eine in England und Wales unter OC registrierte Limited Liability Partnership und unterliegt als Anwaltskanzlei den Bestimmungen der Solicitors Regulation Authority. Der Begriff "Partner" bezeichnet in Bezug auf die Linklaters LLP Gesellschafter sowie Mitarbeiter der LLP oder der mit ihr verbundenen Kanzleien oder sonstigen Gesellschaften mit entsprechender Position und Qualifikation. Eine Liste der Namen der Gesellschafter der Linklaters LLP und der Personen, die zwar nicht Gesellschafter sind, aber als Partner bezeichnet werden, sowie ihrer jeweiligen fachlichen Qualifikation steht am eingetragenen Sitz der Firma in One Silk Street, London EC2Y 8HQ, England, oder unter zur Verfügung. Bei diesen Personen handelt es sich um deutsche oder ausländische Rechtsanwälte, die an ihrem jeweiligen Standort als nationale, europäische oder ausländische Anwälte registriert sind. Wichtige Informationen bezüglich unserer aufsichtsrechtlichen Stellung finden Sie unter Bitte beachten Sie, dass die in diesem Dokument enthaltenen Angaben zu Honorarvereinbarungen, Mandanten und Referenzen sowie die Beschreibungen der Beratungstätigkeit vertrauliche Informationen von Linklaters sind und es für einen Zeitraum von vier Jahren ab dem Datum dieses Dokumentes bleiben.


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