Procedural Fairness: Convergence in Process

By Paul O’Brien – 

Competition agency process can be just as important as substance when it comes to effective enforcement. Over the past decade, the scrutiny of agency process has led to the identification and promotion of consensus principles for the provision of procedural fairness during competition investigations at the OECD, ICN, and elsewhere. But a consensus on high-level principles may mean little without a commitment to embed fairness into the day-to-day practices and choices that guide agency investigations and decision making, and ultimately affect enforcement outcomes. This article explores the developing consensus around procedural fairness principles and practices and suggests possible ways for more progress.

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