3. Markets

Trade, sustainability, and globalisation 

The integration of national, regional, and international markets is a key driver for the harmonisation and convergence of different legal orders. This research stream investigates how public authorities facilitate markets and empower private actors to engage in the production, distribution, consumption, monitoring, and safeguarding of resources, services, and information. It also examines whether and how governments and private actors can ensure that the economy operates within planetary boundaries and does not harm matters of social, political, and environmental concern.

Research in this stream investigates, for example, the role of law in facilitating, curtailing, and providing access to markets. It examines whether and how the law can address economic disembedding from society.

Research in this stream typically draws on a range of different disciplines. Economists, for example, might ask how incentives of liability rules, private regulation, and market solutions can be used to prevent and compensate for harms caused by oil pollution, nuclear accidents, or natural disasters. Tax lawyers may examine how different tax structures can help or hinder the transition to a fair and sustainable economy. Corporate lawyers can investigate how to make company groups sustainable and hold them accountable for harmful activities at home and abroad. Comparative lawyers could explore what lessons we can learn from the regulation of markets and economic actors in other countries. Art lawyers might examine the interaction between the market for cultural goods and recent European measures. Empirical researchers may consult various data sources to infer causation, identify correlation, and reflect on the right way to regulate markets. Legal historians can help us understand how we got where we are today by exposing, for example, the ancient roots of commercial law or the origins of corporations.