Global Antitrust Hot Topics: EU, US & Global Perspectives - 2016

Conference organized by Concurrences Review in partnership with Baker Botts and RBB Economics.


Keynote Speech

Judge Aindrias Ó Caoimh

Judge Aindrias Ó Caoimh, who served at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for eleven years, gave the keynote speech.

Judge Ó Caoimh explained that, at the CJEU, all judges begin as generalists covering a wide variety of cases. Subsequently, they may develop an expertise in a specific area of law. He himself did not start as a competition law specialist but eventually he was appointed reporting judge in some important competition cases.

Judge Ó Caoimh next provided insight into how cases are decided at the Court. Other than at the General Court, where cases are assigned to the different chambers and reporting judges according to a rotation system, at the CJEU, it is the President who appoints the reporting judge for any new case.

The reporting judge prepares a written report on the case, which, if well done, sets out the critical issues of the case and whether the case raises a new point of law that requires an opinion by the Advocate General. The report is discussed by the full college of the Court, comprised of 28 judges, which assigns the case to a chamber of three or five judges, the Grand Chamber of 15 judges or the full Court of 28 judges. Cases assigned to a chamber of three judges will most likely not involve a major statement of law. Judge Ó Caoimh found working in a chamber of three judges was not ideal, as it did not allow for profound elaborations by the judges. In chambers of five judges, discussions between the judges tended to be more intense. On the other hand, the large number of judges in a Grand Chamber could pose a challenge for reaching a consensus.

Photos © Emilie Gomez

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