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

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in General Posts | Comments Off on 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?

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in General Posts | Comments Off on 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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10 Years After Romania’s Accesion to the EU: European Contract Law (Doctrinal and Empirical Observations)

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Catalina Goanta, Commercial Law, Conference, Consumer Law, Contract Law, European Integration, European Private Law, General Posts, Legal Education | Comments Off on 10 Years After Romania’s Accesion to the EU: European Contract Law (Doctrinal and Empirical Observations)


The Maastricht European Private Law Institute and the Legal Research Institute of the Romanian Academy (Centre for the Study of European Law – CSDE) are organising a conference on current issues of European contract law. 2017 marks a decade after Romania’s accession to the European Union, which is a meaningful moment for legal researchers to evaluate various aspects in different sub-areas of private law with respect to the development of the Romanian legal system as a legal system of the European Union.

The conference will include both doctrinal and empirical observations on European contract law. At the same time, the conference will serve as a dissemination platform for the first empirical study on the application of European law by Romanian national judges.

The event will also honour Prof. Nicolae Turcu, the former president of the Romanian Legislative Council’s Civil Law Section, who passed away earlier this year, to the grief of both legal academia and practice.

The full programme of the event can be found here (in Romanian/English).

Registration requests can be sent to ardae2007@gmail.com until 20 October 2017.

The conference is free of charge.

Reservations over the Netherlands Commercial Court

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 in General Posts | 0 comments

By Professor Bas van Zelst

 

On 18 July 2017 the Government submitted a proposal for the establishment of the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC). In brief, the proposal provides for the establishment of a court (and appellate court) before which parties can litigate in the English language. According to the proposal, the NCC will give the Dutch economy an impulse. The NCC provides Dutch parties with access to an affordable, English judicial system of high quality, which in turn is beneficial to the Dutch service sector (from counsel to hotels and from translation agencies to couriers).

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Road traffic and other liability in Formula 1?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Bram Akkermans, European Private Law | 0 comments

On Sunday morning 1 October, all of the Netherlands was behind their tv or internet connection to watch ‘our’ Max Verstappen win the Malaysian Grand Prix. Besides watching a very exciting race, I wondered about some of the accidents that happen between drivers on the track. I was especially intrigued with the incident between Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel.

If one formula one car hits another, and one of the parties is to blame, does that create liability to pay for the repairs of the other?

Of course, like in other sports, the standard of care that we assume between ‘players’ is different than in the ordinary course of life and business, but I am not speaking about bodily harm. The material damage to Vettel’s car, which was estimated by Dutch former formula 1 driver Robert Doornbos on Dutch TV of about half a million Euro, is now to be born by Ferrari?

The liability regime the applies to damage occurring, either by intentional act or by negligence, is traditionally covered by the place where the damage occurs (lex loci delicti). So Malaysian law applies to damage occurring during the Malaysian Grand Prix, etc. A quick google search reveals that there are special liability rules for the Singapore Grand Prix.

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A Bank’s Duty of Care and the Anglo-American/European Divide

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in European Private Law | 0 comments

By Professor Cees van Dam 

 

This summer, Hart Publishing published the book ’A Bank’s Duty of Care’ I edited with my colleague Professor Danny Busch from the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

In recent years, an increasing number of customers and investors have filed claims against banks, such as for mis-selling financial products, poor financial advice, and insufficient disclosure of and warning about financial risks. In case law and legislation, the scope of a bank’s duty of care seems to expand, not only to include protection of consumers against unclear risks of complicated financial products but also protection of professional parties against more obvious risks of relatively straightforward products.

The book provides reports of how nine jurisdictions (Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, England and Wales, Ireland, and the United States of America) deal with these questions and how answers are found or embedded in their national legal systems. The book also contains a chapter on the EU regulatory framework, particularly the MiFID I and II conduct-of-business provisions (Markets in Financial Instruments Directives).

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German Amtsgericht on the duty to rescue

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in General Posts | 0 comments

By Dr. Lotte Meurkens

 

A decision of the German Amtsgericht Essen-Borbeck, which as a court of first instance deals with both criminal and civil cases, recently became world news. For example NOSBBC Newsder Spiegel Online, and the New York Times all reported about it. It became apparent to me after telephoning the court that the judgment has not been published yet, meaning that my writing will be based on these news items, and that it concerns a criminal case. The latter is important as news on court decisions (including terms such as ‘prosecutor’ and ‘fine’) should be interpreted with care especially when the court in question also has civil jurisdiction. Moreover, given the legal topic in this case (liability for omissions, i.e. liability that is not based on an act but on a failure to act, and duty to rescue), it could very well have been a civil case.

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Report from M-EPLI talk with Prof. Dr. Thomas Coendet- “Comparative Law as a Means of Legal Reasoning?”

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in MEPLI Talks, William Bull | 0 comments

By Dr. William Bull and Doris Beganovic

 

On the 13th of September 2017, M-EPLI had the honour of welcoming Prof. Dr. Thomas Coendet, the respected Swiss lawyer and current professor at KoGuan Law School in Shanghai, to give a talk on the topic of “Comparative Law as a Means of Legal Reasoning?”.

Firstly, some insight into comparative law should be given. Comparative law is the act of comparing the law of one country to the law of another, by and large first being the law of a foreign country and second being the law of one’s own country. The essence of comparison is looking at one legal data in both systems and then focusing on similarities and differences between them.  In most of the countries in Europe, legal decisions are based on legal reasoning that stems from the domestic jurisdiction. Judges do not usually look to foreign jurisdictions to guide their decisions or to create their arguments by engaging in comparison between the foreign law and their own.

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New community research initiative: The European Law&Tech Network

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Catalina Goanta, European Integration, MEPLI | 0 comments

While many decades ago, the field of law and technology was focused on the study of intellectual property, more recently, legal scholars have extended their interest in technology to other fields such as the regulation and governance of the Internet, privacy and cybersecurity, data collection, digital platforms, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. The European Law and Technology Network brings together scholars from different nationalities and fields of research that are trying to understand how technology works and how law should respond to its challenges. The European Law and Technology Network is an initiative of two scholars affiliated with Dutch universities: Sofia Ranchordas has published extensively on the regulation of digital platforms and comparative public law. She is currently based at Leiden Law School and as of October 1st, 2017, she will be Chair of European & Comparative Public Law and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at Groningen Law School. Sofia is also affiliated with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Catalina Goanta is an Assistant Professor of Private Law and affiliated MEPLI researcher who writes on consumer law, innovation policy, and is behind a number of local and international law and technology initiatives.

So far the network has gathered over 240 scholars from 22 European and Middle Eastern countries.

For more information on the Network and the opportunity to join it, have a look at its website.

MEPLI’s Academic Director – Professor Jan Smits – New Dean of Law Faculty at Maastricht University

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in MEPLI Announcements | 0 comments

News for our MEPLI community and beyond!

As of 1 December 2017, MEPLI’s Academic Director and current chair of the Private Law Department, Jan Smits, will succeed Hildegard Schneider as new dean of the Faculty of Law.

Our leader and new dean has been a visiting scholar at various foreign institutes, including Tulane Law School, the University of Leuven, the University of Liège, Louisiana State University, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, and the University of Helsinki. From 2010 to 2012 he served as Hill Visiting Chair on the Internationalisation of Law and from 2013 to 2014 he served as Rotating Chair at Ghent University.

Jan Smits is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (AIDC). He is also chair of the KNAW Law Department and a deputy judge at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

The official press release can be found on the website of the Law Faculty.