Appeals from the Competition
106. Article 225a TEC provides that decisions
given by judicial panels may be subject to a right of appeal on
points of law or, when provided for in the decision establishing
the panel, a right of appeal also on matters of fact, before the
CFI. Decisions of the CFI would exceptionally be subject to review
by the Court of Justice.
Appeals from the Civil Service Tribunal to the CFI are limited
to points of law.
That should also be the case for appeals from the Competition
107. As mentioned, one of the concerns expressed
by witnesses was that the creation of the Court would add a further
level of appeal which, given the large sums typically involved
in mergers falling within the scope of the EC Merger Regulation,
would almost certainly be used by a party seeking to frustrate
the transaction. Accordingly, while the Treaty would not seem
to permit the possibility of an appeal from the CFI to the ECJ
to be wholly excluded, a number of witnesses suggested ways in
which it might be restricted so as to curtail opportunities for
mischief or unnecessary delay.
108. The Competition Law Association (CLA) proposed
that an appeal from the CFI to the ECJ should not be able to be
brought without the permission of the ECJ. In the CLA's view,
the possibility of appeal to the ECJ should be retained for exceptional
cases to ensure the uniformity of Community law (p 128).
Allen & Overy thought review by the ECJ should be limited
to cases giving rise to a serious risk to the unity and consistency
of Community law (p 117).
109. We agree. Were a Competition Court to
be established, any appeal from the CFI to the ECJ in cases falling
within the jurisdiction of the new court, should be restricted
in so far as the Treaty permits. Only cases raising issues of
fundamental importance to the interpretation and application of
the Community's competition rules should be capable of appeal.
We are also attracted to the need for the ECJ to give leave before
any appeal can be brought.