Friday, January 31, 2014
Jose Carlos Laguna de Paz, University of Valladolid describes Understanding the limits of judicial review in European competition law.
ABSTRACT: This article aims to contribute to better understanding of the scope of judicial review in European competition law. It does so by exploring its boundaries and highlighting the different functions of judicial review and competition law enforcement. On the one hand, the European courts have to protect citizens’ rights. Fit for this purpose, Article 263 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides a comprehensive way to review the law, the facts and their appraisal. However, on the other hand, courts are not competition authorities. This raises some limits for judicial review. First, courts are entitled to annul the Commission’s decision, but as a rule they cannot pronounce on the merits of the case. Second, courts can annul discretionary decisions when they do not conform with the legal framework, but cannot substitute their own discretion for that of the European Commission. Third, judicial review can eventually be limited to control whether the Commission made a manifest error in the assessment of complex and technical issues. Fourth, in spite of the unlimited jurisdiction (Article 261 TFEU), in fact courts give the European Commission significant leeway in the application of fines.