Political debate in the UK about EU migration always seems to focus on EU Citizens, particularly from Central and Eastern Europe, coming to the UK. In reality the position is much more fluid. Nearly 2 million UK nationals live elsewhere in the EU (see the FT) and movement never goes only one way. There is a constant flow of EU citizens moving back and forth between EU Member States exercising their free movement rights. The difficulty in predicting trends in the patterns of movement was highlighted recently; the “tidal flood” of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania prophesised by many strident UK commentators proved to be illusory. A pair of recent judgments from the Court of Justice of the EU, the highest court within the EU legal system, highlights the problems faced by other EU Member States when they have a significant number of migrants coming into their territory from the UK and Ireland; because they arrive in vehicles with the steering apparatus on the wrong side …
In one of my, increasingly frequent, excursions away from competition law into the wider world of EU law I consider the impact of the the Court of Justice’s judgment in Nintendo v PC Box on the legality of videogame console ‘modchips’ under EU and copyright law.
What is the impact of the ‘legal advice’ defence to the cartel offence in s 188B(3) of the 2002 Act? Could it make it easy to escape prosecution?
I recently delivered my UG competition law lecture on Cartels. It’s an occasion I always enjoy and gives me an opportunity to approach the topic afresh on an annual basis [the feedback I receive is always extremely helpful too]. This year it was the first time that I had the opportunity to talk through the new defences to the UK cartel offence since the controversial ‘dishonesty’ element was removed by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. I have described one of the new defences inserted into the Enterprise Act 2002, the ‘legal advice’ defence in s 188B(3), as ‘bizarre’ in the new edition of our textbook, but in this post I want to set out what I perceive the problems to be. I want to develop these ideas into a longer piece, but for now I want to pose some of the questions I think need answering. My fear is that the ‘legal advice’ defence could become a get out of jail free card rendering the UK cartel a dead letter in all but the most extreme cases.