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While competition law vests competition authorities with direct powers to implement legislation, courts also play a central role in the review of decisions issued by authorities. Whether they are specialised or generalist, their correct functioning is crucial for ensuring an environment of certainty and predictability in market economies.
In 2014, in a partnership with Mexico's Ministry of Economy, the OECD was asked to provide an overview of international experiences and best practices regarding the role of courts in the implementation of competition policy.
The resulting report presents experiences in different institutional designs of competition law systems. It highlights that the specialisation of courts can entail advantages such as greater efficiency, uniformity of decisions and improvement in decision quality.
It also describes factors that influence the performance of courts and that contribute to their strengthening. Lastly, it emphasises that the specialised courts, competition authorities, regulators and government bodies should create, strengthen and maintain informal channels of communication that are open and clear to promote the exchange of experiences and best practices, in particular on the substantive and procedural soundness of the decisions of the competition authorities, as well as on the outcomes of the courts’ reviews.
Even if this report cites extensively the Mexican experience in view of a 2013 constitutional reform which created different competition authorities and specialised courts, it has broader value as a collection of experience for the Judiciary and court members, competition agencies, and other stakeholders more generally.
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