Judicial Review of Competition Law Decisions in Poland (2004-2021): A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

Working Paper of the Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, University of Warsaw No. 1-2023

46 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2023 Last revised: 11 Dec 2023

See all articles by Maciej Bernatt

Maciej Bernatt

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management

Maciej Janik

Independent

Date Written: June 19, 2023

Abstract

Relying on the extensive analysis of a unique database of all available, 1196 Polish judgments rendered in appeal procedures against the decisions of the Polish competition authority (the UOKiK) applying Articles 101 and 102 TFEU or the national equivalent provisions, the present contribution reviews how the judicial review of antitrust enforcement action has developed in Poland since 2004. After presenting the Polish competition law enforcement system and describing a de novo character of judicial review in Poland, the paper presents the results of the quantitative analysis carried out on the basis of the data collected and coded in accordance with the parameters and calculation algorithms designed for the ECN+ Empirical Mapping Study. Among others, the data presented concern number of judgements according to instances, success rates and outcomes, types of substantive rules being appealed, the scope of fine reductions and admissibility criteria. Next, the qualitative analysis discusses how the intended characteristics of judicial review in Poland have actually manifested in judicial practice between 2004 and 2021. The paper shows that Poland’s experience with judicial review offers interesting lessons for other countries. It sits well between two extremes: a cassatory, legality focused model of judicial review, which tends to be formalistic and offering very limited space for the review of the substance of the competition authority’s decision, and an intrusive model of judicial review, where the determinations made by the competition authority have in practice little or no weight in proceedings before the review body. This is not to say that judicial review in Poland has no scope for improvement. The list includes, among others, challenges such as the length of judicial proceedings and its multilevel structure, limited expertise of judges and insufficient courts’ resources as well as the rule of law shortcomings in Poland.

Keywords: judicial review, competition law, antitrust, comparative antitrust, comparative administrative law, enforcement, judicial deference, national competition authority, Regulation 1/2003, rule of law, regulatory agencies, EU, Poland, administrative action, administration

JEL Classification: K21, K22, K40, K 42

Suggested Citation

Bernatt, Maciej and Janik, Maciej, Judicial Review of Competition Law Decisions in Poland (2004-2021): A Quantitative and Qualitative Study (June 19, 2023). Working Paper of the Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, University of Warsaw No. 1-2023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4484063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4484063

Maciej Bernatt (Contact Author)

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management ( email )

Warsaw
Poland

HOME PAGE: http://www.wz.uw.edu.pl/en/pracownicy/lista/maciej-bernatt/cv

Maciej Janik

Independent

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