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  • Independence of judicial decisions as a factor of formation of economic policy (on the example of the application of antimonopoly legislation)

Independence of judicial decisions as a factor of formation of economic policy (on the example of the application of antimonopoly legislation)

Priority areas of development: economics
Department: Laboratory of Competition and Antimonopoly Policy
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research: In the framework of the study, the influence of the characteristics of judges of arbitration courts and the judicial instances on the outcome of cases challenging the decisions of the executive authorities in domestic antitrust practice has been checked. Analysis and explanation of the relevant regularities is the main goal of the work.


Research hypotheses have been tested using empirical methods and it was shown that the main stimuli of the decision-making process by judges are their career aspirations and motivation to participate in the process and to prove their position of the parties to the proceedings.

Empirical base of research

Data on the results of challenging the accusatory decisions of executive bodies in successive instances of arbitration courts.

Results of research

1) The statistically significant impact of the accumulation of experience and antimonopoly authorities, and judges, on the legal quality of decisions. With the growing experience of challenging, antitrust authorities are increasingly passing decisions that arbitration judges uphold. As for the judges of first instance, in the arbitration courts, with increasing experience, decisions are more often rendered, supported by a review in a higher instance. At the same time, the general and specific experience of judges plays an important role. The effect of general experience is manifested in the fact that judges of a higher qualification class more often make decisions that are not canceled later in higher instances. The second-class judges more often make weak (annulled) decisions by 8%, and the fourth class by 14% than the first-class judges. It is important to point out that the quality of decisions is influenced precisely by the judicial class, and not by work experience, measured in years.

2) The assumption has been verified and confirmed that the more serious the contested sanctions, the higher the incentives for the accused party to make more efforts to reach an acquittal decision during the trial. At the same time, judges estimate an increase in the likelihood of appealing such types of cases, which, also, negatively affects the assessment of their performance and the system of professional incentives, increasing career-related motivation to minimize errors of the first kind.

3) The “learning effect” to the antitrust proceedings for the parties has been empirically confirmed and contributes to reducing the discussion of the judicial settlement of disputes in antitrust proceedings.

4) The thesis on the meaninglessness and dangers of stimulating competition policy bodies has been studied on the basis of using data on uncontested decisions or decisions not canceled in arbitration courts. The data show that costs of judicial review and the likelihood of cancellation of the decision of the antimonopoly authority are higher for more complex complex cases.

5) Targeted analysis of decisions on some of the largest cases of violation of antitrust legislation has shown the importance of applying modern methods of analysis to obtain well-founded evidence underlying the charges. While studying the effects of competition policy at the micro level, quantitative evaluation is important.

Level of implementation,  recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

The results of this study can be used both in the development of antitrust legislation and in changing the rules and procedures for enforcement.


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