‘Competition Law as Transnational Law’

The CCP seminar series continues on Friday 24th October with the marvellous Imelda Maher (University College Dublin) presenting her paper entitled ‘Competition Law as Transnational Law‘. Imelda is a prolific author in the fields of EU Law and Competition Policy and, in 2006, was inaugurated to the Sutherland Chair of European Law at UCD.  An abstract for her paper can be found below.


The aim of this paper is to being to explore trends in competition law.  In this preliminary phase of the project, I am taking two ideas: transnational law and territoriality – and reflecting on them in the context of competition law.  I have chosen these two concepts as, in my mind at least, they are closely inter-related in this particular field.  The reason for this conceptual inter-linkage is a practical phenomenon which is that despite the undoubted globalisation of trade and the ongoing growth of multinational firms, competition law – the key legal mechanism to ensure that markets operate as freely as possible to ensure consumer and hence general welfare – is strictly territorial in nature.  National Competition Agencies – even the most powerful ones like the US Department of Justice and the EU Commission, have limited capacity to enforce their own laws extraterritorially even though so much of the market activity that in particular the Commission looks at is transnational in nature.  So, I suppose the title to some extent recognises that competition law is territoriality bounded in nature and yet strives to be or maybe perhaps should be (but is most unlikely to be) transnational in scope.

This preliminary paper is divided into four sections:  first, I will outline what I mean by transnational law.  Then I will explore the extent to which competition law is territoriality bounded (drawing on a recently published paper in Handl, Zekoll and Zumbansen, Beyond Territoriality: Transnational Legal Authority in an Age of Globalization (2012)).  The third section is a first attempt to bring these two ideas together and reflect on how competition law moves beyond its territoriality before concluding.

The seminar will take place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.

About CCP
The Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) conducts interdisciplinary research into competition policy and regulation.

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