Self-Incrimination Definition

Self-Incrimination Definition

Definition of Self-Incrimination

In the Orkem-judgment (para. 34) the ECJ stated that the “Commission may not compel an undertaking to provide it with answers which might involve an admission on its part of the existence of an infringement which it is incumbent upon the Commission to prove” The precise distinction between self-incriminating questions and lawful questions may sometimes be difficult to draw. However the following indications might be helpful.

More about Self-Incrimination Definition

Whether a question is of a self-incriminating nature or not should be assessed from an objective perspective (average and reasonable respondent) rather than the perspective of the individual addressee (subjective perspective). It is not relevant which information the Commission already has in its possession when asking a question. This approach ensures an objective interpretation of the law, consistent with the principle of legal certainty. It is recommended to assess whether a company can answer a question truthfully without an admission of guilt.


See Also


  • Information about Self-Incrimination Definition in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)

Further Reading

  • Information about Self-Incrimination Definition in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

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