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Title: Appeals from utilities regulators in the US and the UK : what are the limits of judicial review of economic evidence?
Author: Mantzari, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 7368
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis examines the transformation of judicial review in the context of appeals from utilities regulators in the US and the UK, following the regulators’ greater recourse to expert economic evidence and analysis. It describes what is happening and also prescribes what should be happening in judicial review of economic evidence. It shows that the recourse to economic evidence has by and large transformed the scope, process and intensity of review of regulatory decisions in both jurisdictions. The by-product of this transformation is the gradual rise of a complementary relationship between the judge and the regulatory agency in the realm of utilities regulation. Rather than a state of institutional conflict between the two actors in the realms of law and policy (US) or a state of blanket deference (UK), one can observe a measure of judicial restraint predicated upon considerations of relative institutional competence. The normative claim of the thesis is that questions related to the appropriate scope of review of regulatory decisions or to the optimal institutional response to the pervasiveness of economic evidence should not be inattentive to the limits of judicial review of economic evidence. Following the examination of judicial scrutiny of economic evidence in generalist courts (US federal courts, the UK High Court) and specialist courts (UK Competition Appeal Tribunal), the study shows that those limits do not simply derive from the incapacity of the judge to deal with the appraisal of economic evidence but are owing to a host of micro-level (i.e. standard of review, and status of the reviewing court/tribunal) and macro-level institutional factors (i.e. the institutional design of the regulatory regime). The thesis concludes that any expectations that judicial review can ensure the soundness of the regulatory agencies’ decisions need to become aligned with those institutional factors as well as with the institutional capacity of judicial review to satisfy those expectations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available