Access to justice and arbitrating EU competition disputes: aye or nay?

Diker Vanberg, Aysem and Hoekstra, Johanna. 2020. Access to justice and arbitrating EU competition disputes: aye or nay? In: Leonardo V.P. de Oliveira and Sara Hourani, eds. Access to Justice in Arbitration: Concept, Context and Practice. Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. ISBN 9789403506913 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

International commercial contracts often contain an arbitration clause to regulate any disputes that arise between the parties. Contracting parties prefer arbitration because of the perceived neutrality, confidentiality, and speediness of procedure. This chapter analyses the role of arbitration in the private enforcement of competition law and examines whether arbitration can lower barriers to access to justice. In competition law access to justice is mainly discussed in the context of access to procedure and the availability of remedies to affected parties, especially for follow on claims. Those are claims where a competition authority has found an infringement of the law and third parties affected by this infringement can claim remedies. Judicial procedures can be complex, uncertain, and costly and this represents a significant barrier for the parties to bring a claim. Another barrier to bring a claim is the need of the parties for confidentiality as competition law claims often involve commercially sensitive information, which means parties could choose not to litigate because they do not wish for this information to become public. This chapter focuses on access to justice with regards to competition law in the EU with a view to determine whether arbitration can lower these barriers. After this brief introduction, the second part of the chapter introduces the EU competition law framework. The third part discusses the difference between private enforcement and public enforcement of competition law and the current developments in the EU with regards to the private enforcement of competition law. The fourth part analyses the arbitrability of competition law disputes within the EU. The fifth part examines the key issues that arise in relation to access to justice in the context of competition law disputes. Finally, the chapter concludes on whether arbitration can lower procedural and substantive barriers and thereby enhance access to justice.

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Book Section


competition law, access to justice, arbitration

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13 November 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2022 12:21

Last Modified:

02 Feb 2022 12:21


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