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A new training module in the field of competition for European judges


13 Mar 2017


Justice & Home Affairs, a specialised platform dedicated to EU competition law, proposes a closer look at some of the most important articles of the Damages Directive.

The platform has been developed as part of the Online Training Tools for European Judges on Private Enforcement of EU Competition Law project.

The initiative has been implemented by EurActiv Romania (RO) and Fondation EurActiv (BE) and has benefited from the support of the Association of European Competition Law Judges (UK).

The project has been funded by the European Commission, DG Competition, through the Civil Justice Programme.

The Damages Directive

The platform hosts an Online Video Training Module (OVTM) aimed at offering an efficient training solution for EU judges and judicial professionals in the field of private enforcement of EU competition law. The module is focused on the new Damages Directive and can be accessed freely on the platform.

 “Regulation 1 of 2003 was designed to take both public and private enforcement down to the level of the Member States in cooperation with the European Commission. But it became clear that in most Member States, private enforcement had not taken off (…).

And so, in 2004, after Regulation 1 of 2003, there was a report by Ashurst, a law firm, on private enforcement. That led in 2005 to a Green Paper, in 2008 a White Paper and it was very controversial, people did not want an American style litigation culture and so the Commission’s proposals in the following year, in 2009, were withdrawn and it wasn’t until 2013 that the Commission’s proposal which led to the new Directive came out.

(…) the new Directive was designed to promote private enforcement, to level a playing field in some ways, to approximate the law between Member States and to introduce a higher degree of legal certainty for parties.”

Adam Scott, Director of Studies, UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (Expert, JustCompetition Training Module)

The platform also host specialised materials that describe the history and case law underpinning the development of private enforcement of competition law, as well as the main articles of the new Directive.

"There’s a long journey ahead for this Directive but it’s truly to be welcomed. It’s a step into the right direction; it will in fact penetrate into domestic situations and will eventually make it easier for individuals, before each of our Member States, to in fact mount actions from the private side – which after all is the entire objective of combining private enforcement with public enforcement."

Liam McKechnie, Justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland (Expert, JustCompetition Training Module)

A tool for European judges

European national judges and legal staff attached to national courts are invited to access the module. They can also register on the platform and interact within the commentary sections of the special online meetings (articles specifically set up to facilitate the interaction between the members of the target group on key issues and challenges they have encountered in the application of EU competition law).