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Law Blogs Maastricht

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  • Technological developments challenge consumer protection in the digital sphere. One adaptation that could make the digital environment become safer and more trustworthy is to provide consumers with explanations of AI-based algorithm mechanisms used by intermediary platforms.

  • In scientific research, transparency is key.

    This is why I have made the study design and protocols for my project FullCompensation - Rationalising Full Compensation of Non-Pecuniary Damages to Reconcile Equal Treatment and Personalisation publicly available on Dataverse and the Open Science Framework.

  • We Write to be Read, should always resonate in the mind of authors of research papers. The contents of Student-Edited Law Reviews (SL Reviews) is decided by students. These reviews offer a forum for outstanding research papers by law students. SL Reviews have strengths, while they face challenges and opportunities. They can serve as a tool for the new generation of scholars, for those who will engage in the development of legal science.

  • How does EU consumer laws address dark patterns on the Internet? This topic has been part of the scholarly debate during the panel discussion “The AI-assisted consumer”, organized on 6 December 2022 in collaboration with Glaw-Net and IGIR.

  • The widespread use of AI-assisted technologies in the digital sphere has given rise to the concept of digital vulnerability, as a contextual vulnerability experienced by internet users. This phenomenon sparks debate about whether the current legislative framework is sufficient to ensure effective protection.

  • Content creators, exercising their freedom of expression, may use trade marks in their content in a way that might damage the interests of trade mark proprietors (e.g. use of Nike shoes in a porn movie). How does EU trade mark law address these different interests?

  • The European Patent Convention defines subject-matter that is not eligible for patent protection, such as methods for doing business. However, when implemented by a computer, non-eligible subject matter becomes eligible for patent protection. Is this desirable?

  • Only a short drive from Maastricht, border stones still mark the borders of Neutral Moresnet, a small condominium that was the result of a very peculiar round of border negotiations and for over a hundred years was a tax haven, a gambling paradise and a would-be Esperanto state.

  • EU trade mark law excludes certain signs from becoming registered trade marks. In particular, shapes cannot be registered if they are necessary for achieving a technical result. In 2015, the amended Regulation broadened this exclusion to ‘another characteristics'.  But what is now covered exactly?

  • In this piece, I will use two memes to begin to unpack what I think is the common denominator of contemporary populist rhetoric. I will explain that the real substance of this rhetoric is the creation of a false moral equivalence, revealing a nihilism. Finally, I will suggest how this false moral equivalence has become a source of political power in the West today, as well as pointing at some other relevant questions that come with this version of nihilist populism.

  • On 10 October 2022 MEP René Repasi lodged an action for annulment against the complementary taxonomy delegated regulation 2022/1214. The same regulation is also challenged by Austria, a privileged applicant under Article 263 TFEU. As a result, the General Court will in any event be required to verify whether the Commission has respected the limits to its delegated powers under Article 290 TFEU. 

  • Throughout the EU, the rights of asylum seekers come under pressure. Overdue policy changes remain stuck in negotiations because of lacking political will. It is up to the European Commission to step up and protect the fundamental rights of asylum seekers.

  • The debate on the implications of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia recently intensified after a report concluded that the Dutch forces had used extreme violence. Reactions to the report reveal that the issue remains controversial and challenging to discuss. The findings in the report do however raise many legal questions that so far have remained unaddressed. There is thus an important role for legal scholars to move the discussion forward.

  • Recently, politicians in different EU countries have suggested barring Russian tourists from visiting the EU (see reporting here and here). Such a ban would be in retaliation for the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. From a legal perspective, these suggestions raise the interesting question whether such a blanket ban would be lawful. A recent post for Verfassungsblog makes the claim that a ban would simply be unlawful.

  • Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev’s new book, Getting to Diversity, offers data-backed evidence to substantiate what I have long suspected to be true: Many diversity and inclusivity trainings (e.g. mandatory implicit bias training, active allyship training, etc.) not only have little to no effect, but they may be detrimental to actually achieving D&I goals. Dobbin and Kalev’s latest work is specific to American businesses and D&I initiatives that mostly target management, but it appears that there is now an emerging consensus among academics that this may be the case in other contexts too.

  • An important part of becoming a fully-fledged academic is the development and curation of a research line. A research line is the main research topic and the thread throughout (large parts of) a career. It could be law and technology in private law, globalisation in public law, human rights in criminal law, sustainability, or anything else.

  • This blog includes a brief description of a METRO seminar held on 30 May 2022, where a draft research design of FullCompensation was shared for feedback. This seminar was the first scientific deliverable of the project and set the ground for its further development.

  • Suppose that you get injured in an accident. In that case, you are entitled to damages. Damages are money that the injurer (or their insurer) must pay to you to make you ‘whole’. The aim of damages is, basically, to fully compensate you. Sounds easy? Believe me, it’s not!

  • Digital platforms are one of the key developments in facilitating industry 4.0 and are at the center of the multifold benefits the consumers derived through this. An important feature of the digital platforms is the presence of high sunk costs and low marginal costs (UNCTAD, 2019). This occurs since the major cost of operation is the platform creation and popularizing it among the stakeholders. Algorithms is the key tool through which the major decisions and processing undertaken by these platforms. This involves high investment in the initial stage of operation. Apart from this, successful operation of any platform depends on the efficient marketing and the service delivery to make it popular among customers. Prevalence of high sunk cost and network effects makes high entry barriers to the new players to successfully enter into the market.

  • Digitalization has gradually changed business models and reshaped human lifestyles. The rise of business models based on the collection and processing of consumer data allows undertakings to charge business customers and final consumers different prices for the same goods or services, offered at precisely the same time. This technique, which is called “AI-enabled price discrimination”, has deeply affected people’s daily life. For example, when ordering the same hotel room on the same Chinese website at precisely the same time, a loyal customer was charged more than a new customer (see CCTV.com).

  • The drafters of EU Computer programmes Directive were aware of the competition law implications of extending protection to the interfaces necessary to enable interoperability of programs and devices. Neither the U.S. Congress nor the CONTU seemed to think of interoperability. So the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 as amended says nothing  about program interfaces or interoperability. In light of this, in their latest article, Samuelson and Lemley talk about interfaces and interoperability after Google v. Oracle arguing that notwithstanding the Court’s assumption that APIs are copyright-protectable, the numerous appellate court rulings that interfaces are not within the scope of protection afforded to computer programs remain good law. The article explains why uncopyrightability defenses are better than fair use defenses to fend off over-expansive software copyright claims. This blog summarizes some of the key thoughts therein.

  • Can firms undertake costly litigation to protect its brand's core market against infringers? Trademarks are an important intellectual property that plays a significant role in commercialization of a product. Despite several international treaties that aim to protect this right for a firm, competitors do engage in considerable amount of trademark infringements for economic reasons. Our research shows that firms that develop a reputation of toughness against trademark infringement create a deterrence effect for future infringers.

  • In April 2020, the French competition authority adopted an interim decision against Google obliging it to enter into negotiations with press publishers to establish the amount of remuneration for the use of publications protected by the related right for press publishers, as foreseen by the DSM Directive, which France was the first EU country to partly implement. Google in order to avoid making any payment for the use of press publications in its services stopped displaying the protected content until it obtains a free license. Some believe this shows how competition law may become a redistributive instrument for the realization of socially relevant aims, such as the protection of free press. Many argue, however, that it should not be a tool for repairing laws which many consider structurally flawed, and that the authority’s decision was badly reasoned.

  • On 15 December 2021 the European Parliament has adopted in 1st reading the long-awaited Digital Markets Act – a regulation, aiming to recalibrate competition in the most important sectors of the EU digital economy. As this law and this new regulatory modality are indeed capable to have a paradigmatic impact on such an important industry, the variety – and the polarity – of the interests aiming to contribute to the wording of the DMA, is understandable.

  • The disputes concerning FRAND licensing of standard-essential patents (SEPs) are critical legal issues that dominate the development of the standard-implementing industries like the telecommunication industry. Recently, the patent owners of standard-essential patents tend not to license to rival component suppliers but to end-product manufacturers to maximize their interests. This trend has spread from the cellphone industry to the automotive industry and from the United States to Europe.

  • This blog analyses the obligation of Albania to approximate its existing and future competition law with the EU competition acquis, including the need to transpose the ECN + Directive in the pre-accession stage. Then, the blog discusses the approach taken by the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA) to transpose the ECN + Directive is mistaken. It concludes that the harmonisation of public enforcement tools is far from being completed.

  • Data is intangible, non-rivalrous, and produced in vast quantities with little to no incentive. How then can it be a source of competition issues in digital markets? This blog seeks to explain.

Upcoming events

  • 30 May 20 Jun
    14:00 - 15:30

    MCEL Seminars

    The activities of the centre include regular organisation of academic conferences and workshops, as well as monthly research seminars to which high-level speakers are invited to discuss a specific topic in the field of EU law. 

  • 31 May
    16:00 - 18:00

    Maastricht Foundations of Law Colloquia

    Stijn Smet, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at Hasselt University - Title: How to build Constitutional Resilience Against Democratic Erosion (by Populists)? 

  • 01 Jun 02 Jun
    13:00 - 18:30

    6th Young European Law Scholars Conference - YELS Conference

    ‘The Future of EU Fundamental Rights' 

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  • 01 Jun 31 Jul
    16:00 - 17:30

    Environmental Law Lecture Series

    This lecture series provides a set of important insights from environmental law scholars on how EU environmental law helps to achieve the aim of a high level of environmental protection in the European Union and across the world.

  • 07 Jun 23 Jun
    11:00 - 12:30

    Globalization & Law Network Seminar Series

    The Globalization & Law Network is composed by a group of researchers of Maastricht University, coming from different backgrounds, who study the role that law plays in a globalizing society from a holistic perspective.

  • 12 Jun 13 Jun
    10:00 - 12:30

    Symposium Virtual Criminal Trials

    The aimed output of the symposium is to create the forum for setting up a future research agenda and create opportunities for international and interdisciplinary collaboration amongst multidsciplinary experts in thie field.

  • 14 Jun
    09:30 - 17:15

    Globalized crime and criminal justice: European and international criminal law perspectives

    This conference aims to compare and critically assess the developments in European Criminal Law and International Criminal Law. The conference sets out to analyse differences and similarities with regard to a variety of different aspects of criminal justice in a globalized world. It seeks to zoom in on the similarities and differences of both supranational legal orders and to discuss a variety of questions spanning from the prosecution of serious international crimes, to issues of substantive and procedural criminal law and cooperation in criminal matters. The conference aims to bring together experts from academia and practitioners from both European as well as international criminal law to discuss challenges and opportunities of today.

  • 16 Jun
    09:30 - 18:00

    Conference “Law, Change, and Time in the Age of Cognitive Sciences” 

    On 16 June 2023, the LACS conference on “Law, Change, and Time in the Age of Cognitive Sciences” will take place in Maastricht (NL).

  • 20 Jun 27 Oct
    09:00 - 17:00

    ICON-S BENELUX Chapter Inaugural Conference

    Crises, Challenges, and the Future of Public Law

    The newly founded ICON-S Benelux Chapter will organize its Inaugural Conference on 26-27 October 2023. The conference will take place in Maastricht (NL), hosted by Maastricht University - Faculty of Law, with a fully in-person program of panels and keynote sessions. The overarching theme of the conference is Crises, Challenges, and the Future of Public Law.

  • 22 Jun 23 Jun
    09:00 - 17:00


    Sustainable & Digital Competition on the Merits:  A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective


  • 23 Jun
    10:00 - 16:00

    Graduation Ceremonies

    Graduation Ceremonies for Masters


  • 26 Jun 30 Jun

    CLEER Summer School 2023

    8th CLEER Summer School on the Law of EU External Relations

  • 04 Sep 15 Sep
    09:00 - 18:00

    Cursos de Postgrado en Derecho Tributario Internacional y Europeo 2023

    Tax Law Courses in Spanish, location Brussels.

    information only available in Spanish

  • 05 Oct 06 Oct

    17th GREIT Conference

    We are excited to announce that the Group for Research on European and International Taxation (GREIT) will hold its conference “National (Tax) Autonomy and the European Union: Revival or Demise?” on 5 and 6 October 2023 at Maastricht University.

  • 07 Oct
    09:30 - 16:30

    Bachelor's Open Day

    Find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe, experience our unique approach to teaching and immerse yourself in your programme of choice.

  • 12 Oct 28 Mar
    13:30 - 17:15

    Experience Day European Law School

    During the Experience Day you will receive more information about the European Law School programme and Problem-Based Learning (PBL).


  • 17 Nov

    ITEM Annual Conference 2023

    The next ITEM Annual Conference will take place in cooperation with Province of South Holland and Kings Commissioner Jaap Smit, on Friday 17 November 2023 in The Hague. You are cordially invited!

    We hope to see you at the Annual Conference 2023.

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With Law Blogs Maastricht we aim to share our legal expertise, by making our research findings and contributions to topical debates available to a general readership of lawyers and law students, non-lawyers, the press and civil society.

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