A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

        • Preview
          Competition Guidelines: Leniency Programmes (English)
          Also available in Arabic, French
          Policy brief by Brusick, Philippe/UNCTAD, 2016, 25 pages
          Categories: Competitiveness, Policy Reviews and Briefs

          Hard-core cartels constitute very serious violations of competition rules. However, they are often very difficult to detect and investigate without the cooperation of an insider. Accordingly, leniency programmes are designed to give incentives to cartel members to take the initiative to approach the competition authority, confess their participation in a cartel and cooperate with the competition law enforcers in exchange for total or partial immunity from sanctions. This publication, by the UNCTAD Secretariat, seeks to set specific guidelines for countries of the MENA region which envisage adoption or improvement of leniency programmes on competition. The view is to help them achieve a substantive degree of convergence in this field, as a practical way to increase the overall efficiency of the system in their struggle against hard core cartels. To this end, it draws attention to specific considerations for MENA Project countries, such as limits of leniency in small, less developed markets. It also reflects on how to make leniency programmes attractive for potential whistle-blowers, describes possible procedural guidelines along with cases deserving total or partial immunity, and lists some difficulties encountered in practice.

        • Preview
          Good Governance Guidelines: Independence and Transparency (English)
          Also available in Arabic, French
          Policy brief by Brusick, Philippe/UNCTAD, 2016, 43 pages
          Categories: International Economic Law, Policy Reviews and Briefs

          Sound policy outcomes are better assured when decisions by the competition authority are not politicized, discriminatory or implemented on the basis of narrow goals of interest groups. Hence, it is widely accepted that competition authorities should be insulated from undue political interference. Thus, the independence of competition authorities is often defined as their distinct legal personality and structural separateness from Government. In addition to defining the authority’s structure, enabling legislation usually prescribes functions, powers, the manner in which members of management and staff are to be appointed, their tenure and removal, and how the authority is to be financed, often providing financial autonomy. This also includes its obligations with respect to transparency, confidentiality and the possibility of recourse. Even when the law is quite explicit, “de-facto” practice may deviate from the “de-jure” letter of the law. Independence should, therefore, be considered in terms of degrees of independence rather than as absolute independence. This publication examines the degree of independence and transparency which the MENA Project countries, which have competition laws, have inscribed within their legislation and to a certain extent, how this is implemented in actual enforcement practice, taking into consideration the general trends of this particular subject, as observed worldwide.