PCLA workshops devoted to the "Explanations for entrepreneurs - UOKiK Searches" issued by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on December 9, 2019 - SPK

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SPK News PCLA workshops devoted to the “Explanations for entrepreneurs – UOKiK Searches” issued by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on December 9, 2019

PCLA workshops devoted to the “Explanations for entrepreneurs – UOKiK Searches” issued by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on December 9, 2019

On October 27, 2022, the Competition Law Association held a workshop on the “Guidelines for undertakings – UOKiK dawn raids” issued by the of the Chairperson of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection on December 9, 2019, with particular emphasis on the privilege against self-incrimination in antitrust proceedings conducted by UOKiK Chairperson.

The privilege against self-incrimination has so far not been expressed explicitly in the provisions of the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection.  Meanwhile – along with the principle of protection of communication with lawyers (legal professional privilege) – this is perhaps one of the two most important defence rights relevant in the context of antitrust authority dawn raids.  At the same time, it is impossible not to notice the views expressed for many years in the literature critical of the regulation of the investigative powers of UOKiK Chairperson as provided in the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection.

The workshop was conducted by Ms. Anna Mlostoń-Olszewska, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Central Banking and Financial Intermediation at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology at the University of Lodz. Ms. Mlostoń-Olszewska specializes in competition and consumer protection law, including in particular consumer protection in the financial services market.  In 2019, she defended her doctoral thesis “Privilege against self-incrimination in antitrust proceedings in the light of standards for the protection of fundamental rights.”  The thesis received an honourable mention from the Institute of Legal Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences and in 2022 was awarded in the competition of the Chairperson of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection for the best doctoral thesis in competition law.

The presenter commented on the guidelines of the Chairperson of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and discussed the proposed amendments to the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection in the light of her postulates on how to regulate the rights of undertakings during dawn raids. She paid particular attention to dawn raids regarding managers, the scope of UOKiK’s right to receive explanations during a dawn raid, the authority’s approach to the so-called fruit of the poisoned tree and, finally, the privilege against self-incrimination.

During the discussion, participants shared their experiences from the Office’s practices during searches.  The official part was followed by a cocktail party.