Rule of Law Crisis, Judiciary and Competition Law

20 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019 Last revised: 9 Aug 2019

See all articles by Maciej Bernatt

Maciej Bernatt

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management

Date Written: June 30, 2019


This article discusses the implications of the rule of law crisis on a core area of EU law: competition law. It analyses the reforms of the judiciary in selected EU Member States and the reaction of EU institutions. The article shows that the reforms of the judiciary give rise to doubts regarding the independence and expertise of courts which are responsible for reviewing the decisions of national competition authorities adopted under Articles 101-102 TFEU and national competition laws. As a result, the effective judicial protection required by EU primary law is undermined. In addition, mutual trust, upon which the decentralized enforcement of EU competition law is based, is put into question. The article calls upon EU institutions, and in particular the European Commission, to more closely and effectively monitor the developments in Member States which may affect the enforcement of EU (and national) competition rules.

Keywords: competition law, antitrust, judiciary, national courts, rule of law, rule of law crisis, independence, expertise, judicial review, Member States, enforcement of competition law, European Union, Poland, Hungary, CEE

JEL Classification: K21, K23

Suggested Citation

Bernatt, Maciej, Rule of Law Crisis, Judiciary and Competition Law (June 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Maciej Bernatt (Contact Author)

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management ( email )



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