Jan Smits Part of Discussion Group at European Parliament about New Consumer Directives Proposals


On February 18, Jan Smits participated in the workshop organised by the European Parliament Juri Committee regarding the new Commission proposals on online sales of tangible goods, presenting views included in his paper on ‘The New EU Proposal for Harmonised Rules for the Online Sales of Tangible Goods (COM (2015) 635): Conformity, Lack of Conformity and Remedies’.

Find the full paper on SSRN.


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Volkswagen Case- proposal for solution

The recent Volkswagen scandal has managed to hit waves both on the American continent and across the Atlantic, bringing European consumers to doubt the same question Californian consumers are trying to solve: When does a false public statement by a company infringe the rights of consumers,  or are those companies been protected by the freedom of speech principle?

At the consumer level, a more substantive question that is troubling in an era of globalization, is the practical question of whether a consumer can ever be truly certain that a product that he is purchasing is in line with the basic standards of human labour?

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M-EPLI Roundtable: ‘Walking on Common Grounds? New Insights on the Asian, European, and Latin American Principles of Contract Law’, 26 January 2016, Maastricht

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The Roundtable will attend the Asian, European, and Latin American principles of contract law from a comparative law perspective. Scholars from each of the three continents will share their insights on the status, merits, and potential of the existing contract law principles.

Location: Boardroom (B1.019), Faculty of Law, Maastricht University

For more information and registration, please contact Dr. Agustín Parise (agustin.parise@maastrichtuniversity.nl).




9:00      Opening Remarks, Jan Smits (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)


First Session: Latin America


Moderator: William Bull (Maastricht University)

9:05      Agustín Parise (Maastricht University)

Third-generation Civil Codes: Interaction of New Codes and Harmonizing Principles in Latin America

9:25      Discussion

9:45      Rodrigo Momberg (University of Oxford, UK)

The Principles of Latin American Contract Law: Looking for Identity

10:05     Discussion

10:25     Iñigo de la Maza (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile)

The Concept of Contract in the Principles of Latin American Contract Law

10:45     Discussion

11:05     Coffee Break


Second Session: Asia and Europe


Moderators: Liuhu Luo and Jiangqiu Ge (Maastricht University)

11:30     Shiyuan Han (Tsinghua University, China)

The Principles of Asian Contract Law: What has been done and What’s going on

11:50     Discussion

12:10     Jan Smits

Principles of Contract Law: Beyond Common Ground

12:30     Discussion


12:50     General Discussion, moderated by Janwillem Oosterhuis (Maastricht University)


13:10     Closing Remarks, Agustín Parise

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The Increasing Tension Between the Sharing Economy and Worker’s Rights: Law in an “Uberized” Economy


Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 04.18.30.pngAfter the most recent round of funding, the company behind the ride-sharing app, Uber, is now valued at over $50 billion, beating Facebook in the process to set a new valuation record for private, venture-backed startups.[1] While this news illustrates the strength of and the potential behind the sharing economy, the valuation also comes as a bit of a surprise given the number of legal battles that Uber is currently embroiled in around the globe.

For what it is worth, an unfinished section of my draft PhD thesis touches upon some of these legal battles so for the sake of soliciting some comments and possibly crowdsourcing the editing process, I am throwing out a tiny chunk of my unpublished draft here for your review.

Apologies in advance!

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How Do You Make Companies “Good”? Spank Them Less!

I was a little troublemaker in my more youthful days, and while I will spare the details here, suffice it to say that I have been on the receiving end of some good old fashion punishments (some corporal, some less biblical). As a result, from a relatively young age, I intuitively understood the concept of punishment as a mechanism to deter bad behavior. Psychologist B.F. Skinner refers to this as “operant conditioning”.[1] Operant conditioning – very generally speaking – is a method of behavior modification where good behavior is rewarded with positive reinforcements and bad behavior is punished through negative reinforcements.

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Recent MEPLI Working Papers: Sjef van Erp and Kate O’Reilly



Sjef van Erp, Security Interests Burdening Transport Vehicles: The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and its Implementation in the Netherlands and on the Dutch Caribbean Islands, No. 2015/04.

Kate O’Reilly, When Law and Culture Collide: The Uniform Application of European Private Law, No. 2015/03.

For an overview of all MEPLI working papers, see our Maastricht University website.

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