The ne bis in idem Principle in Proceedings Related to Anti- Competitive Agreements in EU Competition Law
Rosiak, Przemysław Kamil
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The source of the ne bis in idem principle in European Union law is found in both the Protocol no. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Convention) and in the legal systems of many Member States. It is enshrined in the jurisprudence of the EU courts as a general principle of EU law. Furthermore, it has also been introduced into some international agreements concluded by the Member States, i.e. the Convention on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests and the Convention on the fight against corruption, which remain an integral part of EU legislation, as well as in the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, which has been progressively integrated into EU legislation. Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which incorporates the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) into EU primary law, the provision on the application of the ne bis in idem principle is now applied in the European Union in areas broader than just the scope of the three abovementioned Conventions. The significance of this principle may also be strengthened following the accession of the EU to the Convention, as has been set forth in the new Article 6(2) TEU. The ne bis in idem principle has found its own, lasting place among the rights and guarantees of undertakings in proceedings conducted by the Commission and the national competition authorities (NCAs) of the Member States aimed at prosecuting and/or sanctioning parties for agreements non-compliant with EU competition law. However, it is still not applied in proceedings against agreements having a scope which transcends EU borders, conducted by the Commission or the NCAs of Member States on the one hand, and by the competition authorities of non-member States on the other. This approach is grounded both in the provisions of the Convention and in the provisions of the Charter.
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