Competition Law

Australian Competition Law and Policy Discussion

Melbourne Law School Launches Competition Law & Economics Network

Posted by Julie Clarke on 13 August 2010

The Melbourne Law School today launched the ‘Competition Law and Economics Network‘, a Network of ‘leading scholars engaged in researching and teaching this dynamic and significant interdisciplinary field at the University of Melbourne‘.  The Director of the Network is Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, who is also the Director of Studies in Competition Law at Melbourne.

The Launch coincided with the first Annual Baxt Lecture in Competition Law, named in honour of Prof Bob Baxt AO and presented by former US FTC Chairman, Professor William Kovacic.  The lecture was on the topic ‘Competition Authorities for the 21st Century’ and explored some interesting issues that Prof Kovacic has previously developed (see, for example, the following):

Agency Culture, Organizational Identity, and People
12 June 2010 at the ICN Agency Effectiveness Workshop in London

Rating the Competition Agencies: What Constitutes Good Performance?
(2009) 16 George Mason Law Review 903

Assessing the Quality of Competition Policy: The Case of Horizontal Merger Enforcement
(2009) 5 Competition Policy International 129

The Continuing Pursuit of Better Practices: Perspectives from the FTC Self-Study
CNE, Madrid (17 February 2009)

Engineering the Competition Agency of the Future: Perspectives from the FTC Self Study
ICN Agency Effectiveness Workshop, Brussels (23 January 2009)

The Federal Trade Commission at 100: Into Our Second Century
The Continuing Pursuit of Better Practices (January 2009)

The Lecture was thoughtful and interesting, urging that competition agencies to engage in regular self-review and to shift focus from who is being sued (and how often) to an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement on improving economic performance.  Note: Audio of the lecture and lecture PowerPoints are now available for download here.

In thanking Prof Kovacic, Prof Allan Fels, former Chairman of the ACCC, now Dean of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (which co-sponsored the lecture), acknowledged that the management of competition authorities was an important and neglected subject.

The Baxt Lecture in Competition Law will continue to feature as the Network’s flagship event.

The Network, including the annual Baxt lecture, is to be welcomed as an important facilitator of future developments in competition law, policy and economics.

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