Planned obsolescence and consumer protection

8 April 2019

Nowadays, large corporations are taking advantage of the rapid technological and scientific development in product manufacturing to increase their sales and profits.

Marta dos Santos Silva

Marta Santos Silva has been a lecturer at the Private Law Department of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University since November 2017. In addition, she is Resident Fellow at the Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI), affiliated senior researcher at the Institute for Consumer, Competition & Market KU Leuven and Non-resident Fellow at the Centre of European Law and Politics, ZERP (Bremen). In June and July 2018, Marta Santos Silva was Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.

In addition to her Degree in Law, Marta holds a specialization in Legal-Political Sciences (Catholic University, Oporto), a Diplôme de Droit Comparé, premier cycle from the International Faculty of Comparative Law in Strasbourg, and a PhD in Laws (European Private and Comparative Law) from the Osnabrück University (Germany).

Marta has twelve years' experience as a country reporter and reviewer for pan-European legal and policy projects, including the TENLAW project, and the Study Group on a European Civil Code which co-authored the Draft Common Frame of Reference for European Private Law. Her main areas of expertise are Law and Sustainability, Consumer Law, Product Liability Law and Comparative Tort and Contract Law.

Marta's research is currently focused on the impact of green and health nudges in consumer protection, with which she aims to also contributing for better public policy. She is a Fellow of the European Law Institute, where she is a member of the Environmental Law and Digital Law Special Interest Groups of the European Law Institute, the Belgian-Luxembourgian Hub, the Consultative Committee of the ALI-ELI Principles for a Data Economy, and the Consultative Committee of Model Rules on Online Platforms. In May 2018 she was appointed member of the Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies (Product Liability Formation), where she provides the European Commission with expertise on the applicability of the Product Liability Directive to traditional products, new technologies and new societal challenges. She was also selected as a member of the Academy of Change, a capacity building programme from the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Behaviour Change and the International Civil Society Centre (ICSC), on sustainable behaviours designed for future leaders working on climate change and sustainability. In addition to these current roles, Marta has been legal advisor with a Brussels-based consultancy, and in such capacity worked with the European institutions and agencies, particularly the European Commission (DG GROW, DG JUST, DG FISMA), the European Parliament and CHAFEA.

As a lecturer, she teaches Comparative Contract Law (LL.B. course) and Corporate Social Responsibility (LL.M.) at the European Law School of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University. She also teaches and coordinates the LL.M. course of International Business Law at the Faculty of Law at Hasselt University.

Since 2009, Marta has lectured and spoken in universities, research centres and discussion forums, including the United Nations in Geneva, the European Youth Centre Budapest (Council of Europe), the University of Milan, the University of Lisbon, the University of Ljubljana, and the Delft University of Technology.

Marta has also published in Central and Southern European (including peer-reviewed) journals, and in Brazil. She was awarded several merit prizes and scholarships for her academic and professional achievements, namely from the Academy of European Law (ERA), the University of Strasbourg III, the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) and the University of Osnabrück (Europa Prize). Recently she has been co-editor and general coordinator of "Coronavirus and the Law in Europe", probably the largest academic publication on the impact of pandemics on the law, covering practically all European countries and legal disciplines and comprising contributions from more than 80 highly reputed European academics and practitioners.