Wright, Kathryn (2009) The 'judicial', the 'administrative' and consistent application after the decentralisation of EC antitrust enforcement. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
This paper addresses a lesser-explored dimension of the 2004 EC competition reforms – side effects of the methods chosen for ensuring Community-wide consistent and effective application of the antitrust rules among national judges in the era of decentralised enforcement. I argue that the European Commission and national competition authorities appear to be assuming more traditionally judicial functions. The paper explores two examples where this tendency is in evidence: (a) interpretative/normative rulings: the Commission’s opportunity to give an opinion in a national court case; and (b) precedent-setting: in certain circumstances, decisions of competition authorities are binding on national courts. The expertise of administrative agencies in competition law enforcement, in particular the historical primacy of the Commission, may be offered as an alternative source of legitimacy to traditional legal notions. These developments may have broader implications for the interaction between administrative agencies and the judiciary.
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