The Udo Reifner Prize was introduced for the first time at the 2019 IACL conference that took place in Indianapolis.
Prior to the introduction of this award, a general award was given to the best paper abstracts submitted by young/doctoral students for the IACL conference. Awards were given for the best abstracts at the IACL’s Sydney Conference (2013) and the Amsterdam Conference (2015) respectively.
At the 2017 Porto Alegre Conference the board decided to name the award the Norbert Reich Prize in honour of the late Professor Norbert Reich for his contributions for consumer protection and economic development. At the 2019 Indianapolis Conference we named the prize in honour of Professor Udo Reifner for his loyal support of the IACL’s work and conferences over the years and his valuable international contributions in the area of consumer law, particularly consumer credit law.
Prof. Dr. Udo Reifner (born 1948) studied sociology and law in Berlin and Marburg. He is the founder and long-term Director of the independent institute for financial services (iffreg. ass.). His dissertation was on the law of consumer credit 1976. His first project with the EU was in 1983 on new forms of consumer legal advice. In 1981 he obtained the then only chair on consumer law in Germany to 2015 at the Hamburg University where he succeeded Professor Norbert Reich. After his retirement in Germany he was professor at Trento University for three years. He was a guest professor with a focus on financial consumer law at the McGill University, Montreal (1986), Université de Louvain-la-Neuve (1990), De Paul University, Chicago (1994), Birmingham University (1997), and the New York University (Spring 2000). He attended the EU-Consumer Law conferences in the 1980s, published an EU-Report together with Thierry Bourgoignie, Nick Huls, Thomas Wilhemsson, Norbert Reich, David Caplovitz. In 1989 he organised his first EU-conference on responsible financial services followed by conferences in Birmingham, Strasbourg, Bergamo and Gothenburg. From the very beginning of IACL he became an active member of it. His over 280 publications are focussed on financial services law and consumer debt, sociology of law and the history of German law under fascism. In 2017 he summarized his interdisciplinary research in three Volumes on the “economics, sociology and law of money” with a fourth volume on the 2008 financial crisis. Together with the US based NCRC he initiated the Coalition for Responsible Credit (www.responsible-credit.net), with the University of Trento the European Social Contract Group (www.eusoco.eu) and recently the Coalition against Usury in Germany (www.stopwucher.de). He is member of a number of consumer organisations, was president of the EU financial user committee and served five years as an expert in the advisory board of the German Financial Services Authorities (BAFIN).
Prof. Dr. Norbert Reich (1937- 2015) was a German private lawyer, a European lawyer, and co-founder of the Journal of Consumer Policy. Read his obituary, by Hans Micklitz, ‘Norbert Reich, Founder and Pioneer of Consumer Law 1937–2015—Obituary’ in the Journal of Consumer Policy: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10603-015-9310-8