Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Didier Theophile and Igor Simic (Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier) discuss Legal Challenges to Dawn Raid Inspections under the Principles of EU, French and ECHR Law.
ABSTRACT: The Commission's powers of inspection under Regulation 1/2003 are wide-ranging and their implementation entails a significant intervention into the concerned undertakings’ private activities and premises. Decisions ordering inspections are subject to a narrow ex post review by the General Court and no immediate recourse is available against the measures implementing the inspection decision, which are only reviewed with the final infringement decision. While the effectiveness of the judicial protection thus offered is already questionable, undertakings’ procedural guarantees are further weakened by the Court's restrictive interpretation of certain procedural rights, e.g., the protection against self-incrimination. French practice with regard to the judicial review of competition inspections offers a useful counterpoint, the level of scrutiny there being higher. However, even French procedural guarantees do not conform entirely to the ECHR standards, as the condoning by French courts of sweeping seizures of electronic data demonstrates.