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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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 until 20 October 2017.

The conference is free of charge.

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Road traffic and other liability in Formula 1?

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

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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The UK and European Private Law, what’s next?

In the past I have reported on this forum about a simulation that William Bull and I run with Maastricht European Law School Students called the Maastricht Project. In this project, which runs in our course on European Private Law (focusing on contract, property and a bit of tort), we divide students amongst Member State delegations, the European Commission, a presidency and a fictive institute of European Institutional Economics (with the specific aim to bring economic arguments forward). We then run a 7-week negotiation simulation with our students in which we simulate a Council of the EU working group. Students play the role of delegate members and debate a fictive proposal on EU private law, made by the European Commission delegation students. For this, students borrow from the CESL, DCFR and Digital Assets proposals of the European Commission.

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Re- De- Co-dification? New Insights on the Codification of Private Law in Europe

M-EPLI Roundtable on May 12th 2017

The Roundtable will address recent developments and new perspectives on the codification of private law from a comparative law viewpoint. Scholars from six jurisdictions from Europe will share their insights on the main alterations and challenges that the codification phenomenon has experienced since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Speakers from continental European, common law, and mixed jurisdictions will meet to assess the virtues and weaknesses of the codification phenomenon, thus offering a forum to discuss the status of a paradigm that spread across part of the Western world.

For registration please contact Lars van Vliet at



The event is part of the Roundtable Series of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI), and is organized by Lars van Vliet ( and Agustí­n Parise. Funds for the realization of the event were provided by the Science Committee of the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University and the University Fund Limburg.



Tapijnkazerne 21 ‘Building Z’, 6211 ME Maastricht



09:00 Opening Remarks, Lars van Vliet (Maastricht University)


First Session
Moderator: Bram Akkermans (Maastricht University)

09:05 William Swadling (University of Oxford, England)
Perspectives from England
09:25 Discussion

09:40 Martin A. Hogg (Edinburgh Law School, Scotland)
Perspectives from Scotland
10:00 Discussion

10:15 Jan Smits (Maastricht University)
Perspectives from the Netherlands
10:35 Discussion

10:50 Coffee Break


Second Session
Moderator: Lotte Meurkens (Maastricht University)

11:15 Monika Hinteregger (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria)
Perspectives from Austria
11:35 Discussion

11:50 Vincent Sagaert (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Perspectives from Belgium
12:10 Discussion

12:25 Mustapha Mekki (Université Paris XIII, IRDA, France)
Perspectives from France
12:45 Discussion

13:00 General Discussion, moderated by Gijs van Dijck (Maastricht University)

13:15 Closing Remarks, Agustín Parise (Maastricht University)

13:30 Lunch (Faculty of Law, Bouillonstraat 1-3, 6211 LH Maastricht)


For registration please contact Lars van Vliet at


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