A Handbook on New Methods of Law Making in Private Law
Edited by Roger Brownsword, Rob A.J. van Gestel and Hans-W. Micklitz
Chapter 3: EU internal market law and codes of conduct
This chapter examines the impact of EU competition and free movement law on codes of conduct. It focuses on three sectors: the legal profession, sports regulation and the setting of product standards. In these sectors, industry bodies adopt a wide range of codes of conduct or similar documents, which are potentially open to challenge under the EU free movement or competition rules. The chapter assesses the relationship of such codes with EU internal market law through the lens of conflict (wherein EU law imposes requirements private regulators must fulfil), internalisation (wherein EU law refers to codes or relies upon them as implementation tools) and leverage (wherein EU law relies upon codes to reform the practices of private regulators). Finally, the chapter argues that EU internal market law can moderate or facilitate the use of codes of conduct in contract adjudication by providing a mechanism for courts to disregard discriminatory or unfair provisions. Keywords: Codes of conduct, competition law, internal market law, regulation of sport, standard-setting, legal services
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