by Marina Anna Tavassi
President of AECLJ (Association of European Competition Law Judges)
former President of the Court of Appeal of Milan
The Court of Appeal of Milan and the Chairs of EU Law of the University of Milan have worked intensively to achieve a report of the rich case law of the Milan Courts in the field of antitrust.
Indeed, the Milan Courts (both the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance) have always devoted particular attention to competition law, and more specifically to the private enforcement of antitrust law, taking a leading role – through their decisions – in an area that is crucial for companies and for the country’s economy.
Over the last years, the elaboration and adoption of Directive 2014/104/EU, followed by the entry into force, in Italy, of the Legislative Decree No. 3/2017, gave a new impetus to the actions for damages for infringements of competition law. These acts have contributed to a significant evolution of the case law, whose actual scope can therefore be appreciated only on a case-by-case basis, thus taking due account of the respective peculiarities of each decision. The case law of the Milan Courts constitutes, as a whole, a thought-provoking source of analysis and reflections of an area of law which, despite having a European origin, is now destined to be part of the common need-to-know of every jurist.
Those reflections gave rise to the idea of systematically collecting the case law of the Milan Courts in the antitrust field. The aim is to offer, thanks to the availability of the on-line scientific Journal Eurojus, an accessible and – hopefully – useful tool for all those who, even though not belonging to the so-called antitrust community, are interested in the developments of this branch of law from the perspective of civil proceedings.
Being so updated and thanks to the scientific approach in the classification of judgments, this initiative is – to my knowledge – quite unique. This holds certainly true at national level; but I guess that even among the other European countries this project has very few compeers. Indeed, the cooperation between the judges’ practical knowledge and the academics’ scientific approach has proven to provide extremely profitable results.
My wish is therefore that this initiative will inspire the Courts of Rome and Naples to engage in similar activities. This would complete the national case-law and improve the international reputation of the Italian Judiciary while fostering, with high-level results, the dissemination of the Italian case-law at national and European level, also for the sake of monitoring the implementation of the Directive 2014/104/EU.
The following taxonomy aims at enhancing the text search, filtering the most relevant results on each topic. Judgments have been tagged only if dealing consistently, even if not always innovatively, with each topic. Some categories do not show entries yet, but perhaps will do so in the next future.
«My own feeling is that classification can be of assistance subject to important cautionary notes. We should never lose sight of the fact that taxonomy is of instrumental value, it is there to cast light on substantive differences […], not to be an end in itself. We should not allow the desire for ‘order’ to lead the imposition of […] categories that are ill-fitting. We should moreover remember the tension between generality and specificity. The more general and abstract is any classification then the greater the likelihood that all can be fitted into […]. In the opposite direction, […] categories that are too specific can convey a wilderness of single instances» (P. Craig, EU Administrative Law, 2006, Oxford, p. 152)