Chapter 5: Judicial Review of Competition Decisions: A Guarantee of Fairness in EC Competition Enforcement?
INTRODUCTION The previous chapters illustrated that the concept of ‘administrative fairness’ enshrined in Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights encompasses administrative as well as judicial elements. The ‘composite approach’ adopted by the European Court of Human Rights1 requires not only that adequate safeguards be in place in proceedings before the administrative authority but also that the final decision be subject to the scrutiny of a properly constituted court which is both independent and impartial.2 The CFI stated in Siderurgica Aristrain 3 that ‘the fact that the Commission combines the functions of prosecutor and judge (. . .) [would not be] contrary to the procedural safeguards provided for by Community law’4 on the ground that the general principles of EC law ensured that any decision of the Commission finding and sanctioning an infringement of competition law would be subject to effective judicial review on the part of the Community courts.5 Accordingly, since the Treaty confers on the Community courts the power to scrutinise carefully and exhaustively the impugned decisions, especially ‘with respect to the accuracy and relevance of the facts established by the Commission’,6 the system for the enforcement of the competition rules contained in the Treaty was considered compatible 1 Inter alia, Appl. No 19178/91, Bryan v United Kingdom,  21 EHRR 342 at para. 44. 2 HOUSE of LORDS SELECT COMMITTEE on the EUROPEAN UNION, XIX Report, para. 55. 3 Case T-156/94, Siderurgica Aristrain Madrid SL v Commission,  ECR II-645. 4 Id., para. 102. 5 Id...
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