Informations and abstract
According to the Italian Antitrust Law, the decisions adopted by the Antitrust Authority are contestable before the administrative courts. On the other hand, demands for compensation for damages stemming from illegitimate practices or abuses must be filed to the civil courts. Reasonableness and efficiency of this system are largely questionable and are effectively questioned for long time. In particular, it is the nature of the judicial control over the decisions of the Italian Authority to become a "hot" issue in recent years. It is debated whether the administrative judge has the power only to supervise those decisions in point of legitimacy defects (i.e. errors in the proceedings) or instead it should deeply enter in the matter of the assessments and eventually replace them with its own valuations. The first position emphasizes the role of the Antitrust Authority and considers the Italian traditional limits of the administrative jurisdiction. The second position draws the attention on the importance to protect the defence rights of the parties concerned. This article does not provide any certain solution but reflects on the role of the judge in the light of the high number of sentences issued until now. The conclusion is that the present legal system, which provides the Antitrust Authority with a central role in the enforcement of competition rules, may justify a self-restraint of the courts in the use of their supervising power.