‘Consumers Without Borders’ Conference, Maastricht, 25 September 2015

by: in Law

What is the role of the law in addressing the issues faced by the contemporary consumer, and who should be its maker? 


In an ever-globalizing world, consumers are faced with fewer and fewer physical borders: whether this entails shopping online beyond their own national jurisdictions, or actually travelling from one jurisdiction to another in the era of low-cost flights and budget holidays. With more international consumers on the move – literally or in the virtual world – law faces inherent challenges: should these developments be the drivers of a new wave of legal globalization, and if so, what would this look like? 

In what we call ‘Freedom of Contract 2.0’, today, we can contract not only with who we want about what we want, but we have the tools, the technology and the means to actually take advantage of this theoretical construct in reality. While this expansion of tangible choice for consumers increases and augments our capabilities, this development comes with its own questions, which lie at the core of this conference: what is the role of the law in addressing the issues faced by the contemporary consumer, and who should be its maker? 


10:00-10:30   Coffee & Registration 

10:30-10:45   Introduction: Consumers Without Borders

Opening remarks by Jan Smits

10:45-12:15   Session 1: Consumer-Based Solutions

Chaired by Bram Akkermans

Mark Kawakami: Collaborative Consumer Protection: Consumers Empowering Consumers

Omri Ben-Shahar: The Irrelevance of National Consumer Contract Law in Cross Border Trade

12:15-13:15   Lunch

13:15-14:45   Session 2: Mandatory Solutions

Chaired by Caroline Cauffman

Catalina Goanta: Numerical Comparative Law: Distance Selling, Consumer Rights and the Convergence Index

Mathias Siems: Measuring Mandatory Laws and other Legal Institutions

14:45-15:00   Break

15:00-16:30   Session 3: Optional Solutions

Chaired by Nicole Kornet

William Bull: Optional Instruments as an Alternative to Mandatory Solutions 

Alexander Wulf: Case Study on Optional Instruments: The Example of Optional Contract Codes

16:30-16:55   General Discussion

16:55-17:00   Closing

Concluding remarks by Jan Smits

17:00-18:00   Drinks

Register HERE.