The Competition Appeal Tribunal
Section 12: The Competition Appeal Tribunal
57.This section creates the CAT. The CAT will take over the functions formerly performed by the appeal tribunals of the CC. Sections 17, 18, 19, 114, 120 and 179 of the Act give the CAT additional functions.
Schedule 2: The Competition Appeal Tribunal
58.This Schedule sets out the terms of appointment to the CAT for the President, chairmen and ordinary members. The Lord Chancellor appoints the President and chairmen. The Secretary of State appoints ordinary members.
Section 13: The Competition Service
59.This section establishes a new body called the Competition Service that will provide support services to the CAT. The Service will employ staff formerly employed by the Commission, and take on some of its assets and liabilities. Previously both the CC's inquiry panels and appeals tribunals were supported by the staff of the CC. This arrangement is no longer considered appropriate because the CAT will now hear appeals against decisions made by the CC.
Schedule 3: The Competition Service
60.This Schedule establishes the Competition Service. The Service will consist of the President of the CAT, the Registrar of the CAT and one or more members appointed by the Secretary of State, and will have its own staff. Part 2 of the Schedule sets out the arrangements for transferring property, rights and liabilities from the CC to the Service.
Section 14: Constitution of Tribunal for particular proceedings and its decisions
61.This section sets out the arrangements for proceedings before the CAT.
Section 15: Tribunal rules
62.This section gives the Secretary of State the power to make the rules of the CAT.
Schedule 4: Tribunal: procedure
63.Part 1 of this Schedule contains provisions concerning Tribunal decisions, and provides procedures for their enforcement. Paragraph 1 of this Schedule provides the procedure relating to decisions taken by the CAT. It contains similar provisions to those currently in paragraph 4 of Schedule 8 to CA 1998 (repealed by paragraph 8(5) of Schedule 5).
64.Paragraphs 2-8 provide a procedure for the enforcement of certain decisions of the Tribunal that is distinct from the procedure for the enforcement of decisions of the OFT. At present, directions given by the CAT are enforced in the same way as OFT directions: thus the OFT must apply to the court under section 34 CA 1998 for an order requiring compliance with the CAT’s direction. The new provisions provide a more direct means of enforcement, both of directions given by the CAT and awards of damages and costs.
65.The new procedures permit most decisions of the CAT to be enforceable by registration at the High Court in England and Wales, and by corresponding procedures in Scotland and Northern Ireland. By virtue of those procedures, the decision becomes enforceable in the same way as a judgment of the High Court (or, in Scotland, the Court of Session). However, penalties imposed by a decision of the CAT will continue to be enforced as a civil debt due to the OFT, under section 37 CA 1998.
66.Part 2 of Schedule 4 (paragraphs 2-25) sets out some of the areas that the Rules of the CAT may cover, and is based on the current Part II of Schedule 8 to the CA 98 (repealed by paragraph 8(5) of Schedule 5). New provisions have been added to take into account the CAT’s new roles, including appeals on judicial review grounds (for cases under Part 3 and Part 4) and damages claims in competition cases. The CAT rules do not have to cover all of the areas mentioned, and can also cover issues that are not specified.
67.Part 2 includes provisions for rules to be made in relation to the rejection of proceedings by the CAT in various circumstances (subject to the parties being given the opportunity to be heard). These are, in cases other than damages claims, where the person bringing the proceedings does not have sufficient interest or shows no valid grounds; in the case of damages claims, where the CAT considers that there are no reasonable grounds for the claim or that a person bringing a representative claim is not entitled to do so; and in certain circumstances where the person bringing the proceedings has previously brought vexatious proceedings or made vexatious applications.
Section 16: Transfers of certain proceedings to Tribunal
68.Section 16 provides the Lord Chancellor with a power to make regulations allowing the courts - at their discretion - to transfer to the CAT matters arising in civil proceedings that require a determination of an infringement issue. An infringement issue is defined as any question relating to whether or not there has been an infringement of the prohibitions in Chapter I or Chapter II of CA 98 or the equivalent prohibitions in Articles 81 or 82 of the EC Treaty. Subsection (3) provides that rules of court may be made in connection with such a transfer. Any such rules would be made in line with the arrangements for drawing up rules of court in the different legal jurisdictions in the UK. ("Rules of court" has the meaning given by the schedule to the Interpretation Act 1978). Paragraph 25 of Schedule 4 specifies that Tribunal rules may make corresponding provision in connection with the transfer of proceedings from a court.
69.Subsections (4) and (5) allow the courts to transfer to the CAT so much of any proceedings as relate to a damages claim to which the new section 47A of the CA 98 apply (see below).