EU competition appeals typically involve applications by private businesses to annul decisions made by the European Commission. Moreover, these appeals are first assigned at random to a chamber, with a judge then designated as the rapporteur who will be most closely involved with the case. Using hand-collected original data on the background characteristics of EU judges and on competition judgments by the General Court between 1989 to 2015, we find that the legal origins of judges bear a statistically significant correlation with case outcomes and that the rapporteur plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. In particular, if a rapporteur comes from a country whose administrative law has a strong French influence, the decision is more likely to favor the Commission than if he is from any other EU country. These results are robust to alternative political ideology variables, including left-right politics and a preference for European integration
About the speaker
Dr Angela Zhang is a Senior Lecturer in competition law and trade (Associate Professor equivalent) at King’s. Her research focuses on applying economic analysis to the study of transnational legal issues. Specifically, she seeks to explore how institutional factors drive the legal outcomes affecting global businesses. She is currently working on two empirical projects: one on the clash between antitrust and China and the other on the behaviour of EU judges.
Angela’s work has been published by academic journals including Stanford Journal of International Law, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Cornell International Law Journal and Journal of Competition Law and Economics. In 2014, she received the Concurrence Antitrust Writing Award for her study on bureaucratic politics in Chinese antitrust law. In 2015, her work on EU judges was chosen to be presented at the Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum. Angela is also frequently invited to speak at antitrust conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia. Her research has attracted media inquiries from The Economist, The New York Times and Reuters, and she regularly contributes op-eds to the popular press.
Before joining academia, Angela practiced bankruptcy law at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and antitrust law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. She also has practice experience in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. She was admitted to the New York bar in 2009.
Angela received her LLB from Peking University in 2004 and her JSD (2011), JD (2008) and LLM (2006) from the University of Chicago Law School. While at Chicago, she wrote her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Judge Richard A Posner.
About the series
This seminar is part of the Law & Economics Workshop series. The King's Law & Economic Workshop, directed by Dr Angela Huyue Zhang, is a forum devoted to discussing the latest research in law and economics featuring both external and internal speakers. The Workshop aims to promote interdisciplinary research, and to foster collaboration between law professors and scholars from other disciplines.
Anyone with a keen interest in law and economics is welcome, yet potential attendees should bear in mind that we prefer to commence substantive conversation as quickly as possible without much in the way of presentation by the guest. Taking a look at the paper in advance is, therefore, advisable.