EU Competition Enforcement and Human Rights
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EU Competition Enforcement and Human Rights

Arianna Andreangeli

This book discusses the procedural rights enjoyed by those being investigated under Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty and of the Merger Control Regulation, and their right to challenge the Commission’s decision in the Community Courts. It further assesses how their rights to ‘due process’ in competition proceedings before the European Commission comply with the notion of ‘administrative fairness’ enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, in accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
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Chapter 5: Judicial Review of Competition Decisions: A Guarantee of Fairness in EC Competition Enforcement?

Arianna Andreangeli


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, [1996] 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, [1999] ECR II-645. 4 Id., para. 102. 5 Id...

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