For decades, consumer law has been the stepchild of the legal discipline, neither public nor private law, not classic but postmodern, not ‘legal enough’, ‘too political’, in short, a discipline at the margins, suffering from the haut goût and striving to change society through law for the ‘better’. Just like Atreyu, Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, the Ghostbusters, Naruto Uzumaki, Dreamworks’ dragon trainer, and many others, consumer law is the underdog carrying the burden of saving the day. Times are changing. We are perhaps reaching the point at which the world comes to understand the real value of consumer law in a society that is dominated by and dependent on private consumption. Publishing houses and ever more numerous researchers from public and private law perspectives, working on national, European and international law are getting into what is no longer a new legal field. Now the time is ripe for a whole Handbook on Consumer Law Research which brings methodology to the fore. This first chapter pursues three aims: first, to embed consumer law research into the overall development of legal research since the rise of consumer law in the 1960s; secondly, to explain our choice to focus on the behavioural turn in consumer law research and present the range of contributions in this volume that engage with the upcoming strand of research; and thirdly, to explore how the recent attention to behavioural insights can be combined with a pre-existing body of doctrinal research and social legal research in consumer law, and outline avenues for further research.
Browse by title
Hans-W. Micklitz, Anne-Lise Sibony and Fabrizio Esposito
Vanessa Mak, Eric Tjong Tjin Tai and Anna Berlee
This book deals with one of the most important scientific developments of recent years, namely the exponential growth of data science. More than a savvy term that rings of robotics, artificial intelligence and other terms that for long were regarded as part of science-fiction, data science has started to become structurally embedded in scientific research. Data, meaning personal data as well as information in the form of digital files, has become available at such a large scale that it can lead to an expansion of knowledge through smart combinations and use of data facilitated by new technologies. This book examines the legal implications of this development. Do data-driven technologies require regulation, and vice versa, how does data science advance legal scholarship? Defining the relatively new field of data science requires a working definition of the term. By data science we mean the use of data (including data processing) for scientific research. The availability of massive amounts of data as well the relatively cheap availability of storage and processing power has provided scientists with new tools that allow research projects that until recently were extremely cumbersome if not downright impossible. These factors are also often described with the term ‘big data’, which is characterized by three Vs: volume, velocity and variety.The term data science is nonetheless broader, because it can also refer to the use of data sets that are large but still limited—and therefore, unlike big data, of a manageable size for processing.
Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences
Imad A. Moosa
‘Publish or perish’ (POP) is a phrase that describes the pressure put on academics to publish in scholarly journals rapidly and continually as a condition for employment (finding a job), promotion, and even maintaining one’s job. POP may be advocated on the grounds that a good track record in publications draws attention to the authors and their institutions, which can facilitate continued funding and the progress of the authors themselves. However, the POP culture also brings with it unintended adverse consequences that outweigh any perceived benefits. There is no consensus view on who actually coined the term ‘publish or perish’. The rise of the POP culture can be attributed primarily to the attitude of governments that look at higher education as a cost, not an investment, or those believing that it is not their job to fund education.
Industry codes of conduct increasingly play a role in regulating B2B and B2C relationships and have, as such, become part of the contractual regulatory space. Nonetheless, the relationship between these codes and contract law as the traditional way of regulating private relationships still remains opaque. This chapter sheds some light on the relation between industry codes and contract law by addressing one of the questions that the regulatory role of these codes raises: is there a need for a framework for industry codes in contract law? Building on an analysis of the practice of industry codes, their interaction with the traditional foundations of contract law and a number of Dutch contract law cases involving industry codes, it is argued that contract law itself already includes leads to overcome the conceptual challenges that industry codes pose and to give further shape to the relationship between these codes and contract law. Keywords: industry codes of conduct, foundations of contract law, regulation, B2B and B2C relationships
Roger Brownsword, Rob A. J. van Gestel and Hans-W. Micklitz
The Swedish Academy Glossary (SAOL) does not list a definition for the term ‘overall assessment’. However, the term ‘overall assessment’ refers to a number of factors, aspects or perspectives that are brought together into a comprehensive assessment, an overall assessment. In this book, the word has a more specific meaning. An overall assessment means that a choice must be made between several possible decision options using certain criteria in order to achieve one or more objectives. This definition addresses both the meaning and the purpose of an overall assessment. Virtually everyone makes overall assessments on a daily basis. This might involve big, important things like purchasing a home: What is our price range? What city/neighbourhood? Running costs (taxes, maintenance, utilities)? Proximity to daycare, school and work? Renovation needs? And so on. Or the assessment might involve where the family should go on holiday. There are a few options (e.g., Spain, Bulgaria or Italy) and a number of selection criteria such as cost, climate and how child-friendly it is. Another example is buying a new car, which will be explored in detail later on. Even in such cases, there are several different options to consider when evaluating the different car models, which have different prices, different environmental performance, different collision safety and comfort levels, and so on.