This conference, organised by the UCL Centre for Law, will focus on a systematic analysis of the role of economic evidence in competition law proceedings. It will explore the way in which economic evidence has been used and has been assessed by courts and competition authorities, and how the increased role of economic evidence influences the functioning of institutions (both NCAs as well as national and European courts).
The increasing impact of economics on competition law is well documented. The main tenets and principles of competition law have witnessed a profound transformation following the systematic recourse to economics as an external source of authority. More than in any other field of law, competition law is intrinsically linked with the discipline of economics, as this is shown by the frequent references to economic concepts and the methodology of competition and regulatory authorities, the case law of the courts and the expanding soft law relating to the interpretation of the competition law and regulatory statutes. The increasing importance of private enforcement for competition law violations in national courts raises also important questions of proof and evaluation of damages.
While legal practitioners increasingly cooperate with economists in the preparation and assessment of competition law cases, judges and competition authorities are required to assess and weigh economic and econometric evidence drafted by (forensic) economists. Moreover, competition authorities have developed soft law guidelines discussing “best practices” for the submission and assessment of economic evidence in administrative and judicial proceedings. Hence, all actors in competition law practice are profoundly affected by the increasing and often pivotal role of economics in competition law.
At this conference, the transformative impact of economic analysis both on the law as such – in particular the rules of evidence, standard of proof, and causation – and legal institutions will be analysed by speakers who are global leaders in competition law and economics, and come from the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union, national courts, national competition authorities, the European Commission, practice, and academia.