17th IACL Conference: Innovation and the Transformation of Consumer Law
June 13-15, 2019
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
The goal of this conference is to provide a forum where leading international scholars, practitioners, representatives of consumer organizations, public authorities and business can gather together to present and discuss issues relevant to consumer protection in many sectors and from various perspectives. We welcome both theoretical and empirical submissions. Selected authors will be offered an opportunity to publish their papers in the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review.
TOPICS: We encourage presenters to focus on the overarching theme of the conference: “Innovation and the Transformation of Consumer Law.” Innovation in this sense could encompass technologies that create new challenges for consumer policy (e.g., the “internet of things,” “smart” contracts), creative developments that can assist consumers in protecting their economic interests (e.g., online consumer reviews), innovative approaches to solving traditional and continuing consumer concerns, and challenges presented by emerging ways of creating and delivering consumer products and services. Within the general theme, presenters might reflect on past successes (and failures) of consumer law and policy in a particular area of commerce, opportunities for moving consumer law in a different direction, or the potential threats to consumer welfare (particularly the impact of changes in the political landscape in some parts of the world). Papers focusing on consumer law in individual countries are welcome, as well as papers with an international focus.
16th International IACL Conference
The 16th Congress of the International Association of Consumer Law (IACL), was entitled “Economic Development and Consumer Law”, held at the Faculty of Law of Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), organized by IACL, Brasilcon Institute, UFRGS, University of São Paulo (USP), Pontifical Catholic University (PUCRS), Groupe de Recherche en Droit International et Comparé de la Consommation (GREDICC-UQAM), with the support of CAPES and CDEA and several other sponsors such as Itaipu Binacional.
There were sixty five (65) presentations, with nine keynote speakers, bringing together the most important scholars of consumer law from 29 countries (South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, Guinea Bissau, Italy, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, United Kingdom, Senegal, Serbia, Uruguay) and consumer movements, including Consumers International and Brazilian National Consumer Protection System (PROCON). The official languages of the event were English and French, but with the support of PROCON-Porto Alegre, PROCON-RS, CAPES and Brasilcon Institute, there were simultaneous translations of the main lectures into Portuguese. The IACL celebrated its 25th anniversary
The outgoing IACL President, Prof. Gail Pearson, opened the Conference with a speech. The new Board, President Prof. Dr. Michelle Kelly-Louw (UNISA, South Africa) and Vice-President Prof. Dr. Marco Loos (University of Amsterdam, Netherland) were also present.
The Panels addressed the following themes: 1) roots and fundamentals of consumer law; 2) contemporary challenges in consumer protection; and 3) the future of international and sustainable consumer law.
It is necessary to mention the presence of numerous consumer law scholars who held their conferences in the Noble Hall of the Faculty of Law (UFRGS), among them the Professors Honoris Causa Thierry Bourgoiegny, Hans Micklitz, Gilles Paisant, Beate Gsell, Antonio Herman Benjamin, Gabriel Stiglitz, Udo Reifner, Wei Dan, Michico Maeda, Marco Loos and Michelle Kelly-Louw.
There was a great deal of concern about the future of consumer law. Prof. Benjamin discussed how the degree of development of a country could affect the concept of consumer. Prof. Hans Micklitz, explored the evolution of consumer rights to a more functional approach, stating the impossibility of codifying an ever more extensive consumer right.
Issues that are constant concerns, such as liability, publicity, abusive clauses, procedures, arbitration, innovative subjects such as big data, artificial intelligence, the share economy, urbanism and energy, were presented and discussed by the numerous panels, enriching the exchange of information among all participants, students, teachers,
in the incessant search for a more just society.
During the event, the book “Consumer protection: current challenges and perspectives – Proceedings of the 25 years of IACL Congress 16-19 July 2017” was published, under the coordination of Professors Claudia Lima Marques, Gail Pearson, and Fabiana Ramos (ISBN 9788565862264), bringing together in 780 pages 36 articles of the main researchers in consumer law present at the Conference.
The articles, written in English, Spanish, French and German, were divided into three parts: the current challenges of consumer law (fundamentals, contractual protection, liability and solidarity, and collective and individual enforcement); the international dimension of consumer law; and the dialogue between protecting the environment and protecting the digital world.
The success of the IACL congress was complete with side events. The Brazilian National Consumer Protection System held a meeting during the Congress, as did some Research Networks, including the German-Brazilian Network on Consumer Protection, the Helsinki-European Institute Florence Research Group together with the Journal of Consumer Law and Policy Review, and the Brasilcon´s Professors on Consumer Law Network.
15th International IACL Conference
The theme of the 2015 International Association of Consumer Law conference was ‘virtues and consumer law’. The conference was hosted by the University of Amsterdam and took places in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The key question discussed during the conference was: what makes consumer protection law fit for consumers and businesses? This question was addressed from various angles, dealing with various virtues and their relation to consumer protection law.
The conference hosted 39 workshops (during 8 concurrent sessions) on themes such as Hope (in the era of a financial crisis), Fairness (against unfair commercial practices and against unfair terms), Compassion (in clinical trials and towards vulnerable consumers in financial sector), Forgiveness (through arbitration and ODR), Trust (through data protection) and Self-realization (in consumer contracts). Keynote speeches were held by, i.a., the late Norbert Reich (University of Bremen), Omri Ben-Shahar (University of Chicago), Carina Törnblom (European Commission), Verica Trstenjak (former Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union) and Oren Bar-Gil (Harvard University).
The conference was attended by well over 200 participants –academics, consumer advocates, business representatives and lawyers – from all over the world. The conference was organized by prof. dr. Marco Loos, dr. Joasia Luzak and Sacha Tamboer, LLM.
14th International IACL Conference
The 14th International Conference on Consumer Law was held at the University of Sydney, Australia with the theme of ‘diversity’ – of consumers, products and regulatory techniques from July 2 to July 4 2013. Participants came from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to give papers and contribute to discussion. The conference was organised by Professor Gail Pearson from the University of Sydney with help from Professor Eileen Webb from the University of Western Australia. The conference built on the recent introduction of the Australian Consumer Law to explore issues including centralised or divergent regulatory practices, special protection for vulnerable consumers, international protection of tourists as consumers, the digital marketplace, collective actions, and maintained the strong tradition of cutting edge work on consumer credit and finance.
13th International IACL Conference
The 13th International Conference on Consumer Law, was organised under the auspices of the International Association of Consumer Law (www.iaclaw.org) by Brunel University West London, in Uxbridge, UK on June 27-29, 2011, led by Dr Christine Riefa. The theme of the conference was Protecting Consumers in Economic Rescessions. Consumer law scholars along with scholars from other disciplines participated. This conference offered a unique reflection on how consumer protection and consumer policy fare in uncertain economic times and documented how consumers have seen their protection evolve over a few years of economic difficulty.
12th International IACL Conference
12th IACL International Conference Consumer Law – Globalisation, Poverty and Development The 12th International Conference on Consumer Law, was organised by the NALSAR University of Law (www.nalsarlawuniv.ac.in) in Hyderabad, India on February 25-27, 2009. Consumer law scholars from all parts of the world attended. The organising committee in Hyderabad, was chaired by Professor Ghansyam Singh and included Dr. Vidyullatha Reddy