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Public procurement and access to justice: a legal and empirical study of the UK system

Arrowsmith, Sue; Craven, Richard


Sue Arrowsmith

Richard Craven


This article presents the findings of an empirical study into suppliers’ behaviour in enforcing EU public procurement law in the UK - where there is a low level of procurement litigation – and the factors influencing this. The study indicates that most suppliers have not perceived any breaches of EU procurement law. It also indicates that, for cases where problems are perceived, recent reforms required by EU law have led to more complaints and legal actions, and enhanced the practical effectiveness of remedies. However, the study also reveals important remaining obstacles to litigation, in particular the high cost of High Court proceedings, fear of reprisals and (although to a lesser extent) the courts’ approach to interim relief. In the light of recent case law, these findings have interesting implications for the UK’s compliance with its EU obligations to provide effective supplier remedies, and suggest a need to consider a different approach.


Arrowsmith, S., & Craven, R. (2016). Public procurement and access to justice: a legal and empirical study of the UK system. Public Procurement Law Review, 6,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 17, 2016
Publication Date Sep 18, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2016
Journal Public Procurement Law Review
Print ISSN 0963-8245
Electronic ISSN 0963-8245
Publisher Sweet and Maxwell
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Keywords Public procurement; access to justice; litigation; EU law; administrative law
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Public Procurement Law Review following peer review. The definitive published version, Arrowsmith, Sue, Craven, Richard, Public procurement and access to justice: a legal and empirical study of the UK system, Public Procurement Law Review 2016, 6, 227-252, is available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service.


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