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The late principle of procedural autonomy?

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Ensuring the consistency of procedural rules in competition law is presented as the major task for the coming years. The heterogeneity of national rules allowed by the principle of procedural autonomy is denounced as a source of disharmony. The principle of procedural autonomy, which is tightly regulated and already well fragmented as a result of preliminary rulings and the harmonisation work spontaneously carried out by national legislators and authorities, nevertheless has its virtues. It must not be challenged to the detriment of the procedural rights of companies.

In recent months, conferences and journals have been rife with rumours of death foretold, or at least of the "reinterpretation" of the principle of procedural autonomy. This principle, a survival of a bygone era (the one that preceded the adoption of Regulation No 1/2003 and the decentralising revolution that took place), would have lived on. We denounce the patchwork or "puzzle" of procedural rules, the inconsistencies, the legal uncertainty and the risks of forum shopping that result. The major project of the next few years should therefore aim to ensure, if not homogeneity, at least the convergence of procedural rules. Already, we can see that the principle, "carrier of disharmony", now exists only severely planed and strictly framed by the principles that traditionally accompany

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  • University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas


Emmanuelle Claudel, The late principle of procedural autonomy?, January 2015, Concurrences N° 1-2015, Art. N° 70954, pp. 5-7

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