Think Tank meeting on data and digital disruption at the Faculty of Law of the Maastricht University

On Wednesday 17 January 2018, members from the Faculty of Law, the Institute for Data Science and the Department of Knowledge Engineering will gather in a Think Tank meeting, which is aimed at getting to know each other’s research interests and activities and to explore opportunities for collaboration in the field of data and digital disruption. The meeting, which will include short, individual pitch sessions and pitch breakouts, will take place from 14:30 – 17:30 in Room B0.118 of the Faculty of Law.​ Jan Smits and Michel Dumontier (IDS) will deliver the opening keynote addresses.

For further information, please contact Marta Santos Silva (m.santossilva@maastrichtuniversity.nl)

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ADR in Legal Education: The Promise of 21st Century Skills (18 January, Maastricht)

 

Technology is one of the main factors challenging the 21st-century job market. With a new wave of automatization just around the corner, one of the main questions a lot of professions will have in common is: what can professionals do, that machines cannot? One of the answers to this question relates to the increased attention given at international level to soft skills in education. These skills include empathy, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, to mention a few.

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Judges training on private enforcement after the Antitrust Damages Directive

by Maria Geilmann and Caroline Cauffman

On 30 November and 1 December 2017, Maastricht University and Lexxion publishers organized a high level seminar aimed at the training of national judges in the private enforcement of competition law after the implementation of the Antitrust Damages Directive (Directive 2014/104/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 November 2014 on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union Text with EEA relevance OJ L 349, 5.12.2014, p. 1–19). The training was co-financed by the European Commission as a part of the project of the Directorate-General for Competition “Training of national judges and judicial cooperation in the field of EU competition law”.

After an introduction by dr. Caroline Cauffman (Maastricht University) and prof. em. Jacques Steenbergen (Belgian Competition Authority), Johannes Holzwarth and Hans-Petter Hanson (Officials of the European Commission), gave an overview of the state of play of the transposition in the Member States. Most Member States have transposed the Directive, only three Member States still need to do so (Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria). Currently, the Commission is checking the transposition in terms of completeness, in a second stage, it will check the conformity of the transposition with the Directive. The Commission officials also presented the current state of their guidelines on the passing-on effect and they gave us a very detailed presentation on the economic aspects of passing-on.

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The Future of the Sharing Economy

The Question

Should Uber be considered as a company that offers transportation services or rather as a digital platform that offers information society services, operating merely to match passengers with drivers?

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M-EPLI Talk with Dr. Sofia Ranchordás: “Online Reputation and Information Asymmetries”

By Dr. William Bull and Doris Beganovic (ELS Bachelor student)

 

On the 25th of October 2017, Maastricht European Private Law Institute had the honour of welcoming Dr. Sofia Ranchordás, professor at both Leiden and Groningen Law School, to give a talk about Online Reputation and Information Asymmetries, with an emphasis on providing a critical account of reputational feedback in the platform economy.

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The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: Will it become a matter of European contract law?

By Dr. Anna Beckers

 

In the past two years, I have worked on the legal consequences of the Volkswagen scandal. I have focused here and here primarily on whether the corporate social responsibility policy of Volkswagen, in which the company has outlined its commitment to environmental protection, can have legal consequences under EU private law. To that end, I predicted that the EU unfair commercial practices directive has the potential to remedy the detrimental consequences for consumers. Ella Rosenberg has argued on the MEPLI blog in a similar direction.

In the meantime, much has happened in the context of the Volkswagen consumer litigation that has made me revisit this prediction. It seems that the focus on false advertisement law has materialised in the United States. This February, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reached a far-reaching settlement in favour of consumers. The company has to fully compensate misled consumers through a combination of repair, monetary compensation and buy-backs. But, in the Member States of the EU, the experience with the use of unfair commercial practices law appears to have been mixed. The Italian competition authority fined Volkswagen for unfair commercial practices after an emissions test had been conducted by the consumer organisation Altroconsumo, but this remains the only successful action in the EU so far (according to the European Consumer Organisation BEUC).  And even in Italy, the consequence was a fine for the company without the added effect that consumers have their losses compensated or receive confiscated profits (this is subject to separate proceedings).

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