Saturday, December 8, 2007
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: Ireland's national competition legislation, recently strengthened by the Competition Act 2002, provides that breaches of competition law constitute criminal offences and, in the case of cartels, managers and directors of offending firms may be imprisoned or fined if convicted for such behaviour. Ireland is the first Member State in Europe where the courts have interpreted the criminal sanctions provided for in competition legislation. However, the reluctance to imprison white - collar criminals appears to remain in the Irish courts. This article looks at the implementation of criminal sanctions in the Connaught Oil and Manning Cases. The authors question whether the sentence handed down in Manning was unduly lenient in proportion to the more stringent penalties provided for under competition legislation. Finally, we consider whether these cases will set a precedent for such leniency in future cases.