An Evaluation of the Rights of Defense During Antitrust Inspections In the Light of the Case Law of the ECTHR: Would the Accession of the European Union to the ECHR Bring About a Significant Change?
Posted: 29 May 2010
Date Written: April 29, 2010
The Lisbon Treaty provides that the European Union shall accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This paper aims to establish whether the accession of the European Union to the ECHR would bring about a significant change regarding the protection of rights of defense that undertakings can invoke during inspections conducted in the course of investigations of alleged violations of the EU antitrust rules. The paper will examine the relevance of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in this context by comparing the protection of the rights of defense granted under European Union law with the case law of the ECtHR. It will then draw some conclusions on the differences between the protection granted under European Union law and the ECHR and will outline the implications of the accession for the level of the protection of fundamental rights.
Keywords: Fundamental rights, rights of defense, antitrust, ECtHR, ECHR, European Union law, self-incrimination, inspection, legal professional privilege.
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