Friday, June 28, 2019
Life after Menarini: The Conformity of the Hungarian Competition Law Enforcement System with Human Rights Principles
Tihamer Toth, Peter Pazmany Catholic University - Faculty of Law; Competition Law Research Centre, Hungary discusses Life after Menarini: The Conformity of the Hungarian Competition Law Enforcement System with Human Rights Principles.
ABSTRACT: The corporate human rights development was fueled by the increasing amount of fines imposed on both European and national level. For many years, the jurisprudence of the ECtHR has classified administrative, including competition law enforcement as a quasi-criminal process during which human rights shall be respected to a certain extent. This paper strives to explain the evolution of competition law enforcement in Hungary, with procedural safeguards protecting undertakings having come close to the level of protection provided under criminal law. Of the numerous human rights relevant in competition law enforcement the paper will focus on institutional check-and-balances, and the appropriate level of judicial review. The thoroughness of the judicial review of administrative decisions resulting in fines is critical to the analysis of whether the traditional continental European structure of administrative law enforcement is in conformity with the principles of the ECHR. The narrow interpretation of the prohibition of judicial re-evaluation and judicial deference to competition authorities exhibiting significant expert knowledge is of central importance in this debate.