EB konkurencijos teisės procedūrų pobūdis : ar turėtų būti taikomas EŽTK 6 straipsnis šių procedūrų metu?
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While examining the infringements of Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of the European Community (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty) the European Commission bases its actions on the provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation No. 1/2003). Because of a very wide discretion of the European Commission provided for by the abovementioned legislation, because of the amount of fines which can be imposed on companies which infringe the EC competition rules as well as because of other aspects one may consider whether the proceedings of the EC competition law amount to criminal proceedings, according to which the rights set forth in Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) must be granted to persons accused of a criminal offence. It should be noted that the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Court) always discretionarily decides if a certain action should be regarded as a criminal offence. The author of the present article discusses the criterions for such decisions of the Court and analyzes the question whether the EC competition proceedings based on the Regulation No. 1/2003 and developed in the case law of the Court correspond to those criterions (in other words, whether, according to the case law of the Court, the EC competition proceedings should be regarded as criminal). Also the major change in the case law of the EC courts on this issue is presented. After a review of the current situation the changes made by the Lisbon Treaty regarding the issue under investigation are reviewed and the complexity of the issue of the future case law of the Court relevant to such changes is stressed. The article ends with a summary of the analyzed issues and conclusions drawn from the results of the investigation.
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