Markets and Democracy: the Role of Law in Curbing Economic Power that Endangers Democracy

Markets and democracy are interrelated. Pluralistic markets reinvigorate democracy. By contrast, concentrated markets with strong links between firms and ruling politicians weaken democracy. Moreover, unconstrained economic power can help authoritarian leaders to push illiberal agenda or even, as a case of Russian aggression on Ukraine suggests, provide them with funds to finance war. Therefore, there is a time to reconsider the role law plays in curbing economic power that endangers democracy. The paper will address this issue by presenting the connections between democracy and competition law, which by imposing limits on private firms actions keeps market open and thus may serve democracy. The paper will build on author’s recent findings from Central Europe which demonstrated that democratic backsliding affects competition law systems, what in turn further contributes to weakening of democracy. The role the competition agencies as Chapter IX institutions will be considered.

The New UK Internal Market: Rights, Politics and Devolution

Due to its departure from the European Union, the UK has been forced to consider how to organise trade and regulatory competences between its constituent parts (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The foundations for this new domestic internal market have been laid down in the UK Internal Market Act as well as in the so-called ‘common frameworks’; further impulses will come from the Brexit Freedom Bill which the government has announced. What kind of internal market is the UK constructing? What are its constitutional features? And what effects are the design choices to have for economic activity, regulatory standards, and the autonomy of the devolved administrations? This paper argues that although the new UK internal market shares some similarities with the EU internal market, it differs in some crucial aspects. The changes are likely to have a three-fold impact: greater judicialisation, de-regulation and centralisation.

Constitutional Evasions: Encounters Between Comparative Constitutional Law and International Investment Law

This paper is an inquiry into the relationship between comparative constitutional law and international investment law. If the former aims to chart both convergence and divergence in constitutional orders, the latter aims to harmonize constitution-like protections for foreign investors that have the effect of ceding policy space over a wide range of economic subjects. The paper draws upon an empirical examination of selected apex court responses, principally of capital-importing states, to the challenge of shrinking constitutional space due to investment law strictures. Five differing categories of responses to the threat of constitutional dispossession are identified, from complicity to deference, and pragmatism to soft resistance. What explains these rather modest responses? Are apex courts channelling the preferences of executive branches? Are they in denial about these potential conflicts? Or are apex courts judges inhibited about what they can say?

The Real Challenge in International Tax Law: shifting the obligation of conduct into obligation of result for multilateral agreement on corporate taxation

The present research aims at answering the question whether cooperation in ruling taxation, considered an obligation of conduct of sovereign states, is undergoing profound transformation into obligation of result.
The analysed issue is not whether the tax authorities want or should cooperate, as global international taxation requires the strengthening of multilateral agreements on the mechanism for combating corporate tax evasion. The development of multilateral corporate taxation agreements to combat tax evasion is under negotiation. Tax authorities worldwide have expressed concerns about identifying efficient regulation for the taxpayer’s conduct profile. The change of nature of the state’s obligation to negotiate tax regulation is not explicit, as it is not mentioned directly in hard law, but it is indirectly supported by soft law instruments, the continuous yet divergent dialogue of state representatives and the approaches presented in the international courts’ jurisprudence.