The Global struggle towards affordable access to justice

The Global struggle towards affordable access to justice: Dutch baby steps towards a more open legal market

 Written by Jos Hoevenaars, Erasmus University Rotterdam (postdoc researcher ERC project Building EU Civil Justice)

In a global context of civil justice in crisis (Zuckerman) and a legal professional under pressure to adjust to the rapidly changing legal landscape (Susskind), experiments, adjustments and transformations in the way justice is done are an almost daily occurrence. Last week, the Dutch Bar Association announced an experiment to (slightly) open up the legal market in the Netherlands.

Effective yet affordable legal representation

Report on Annual Conference on Consumer Law organized by ERA with specific highlights of the recent Representative Actions Directive

This report has been prepared by Priyanka Jain, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Luxembourg.




On 8-9 October 2020, ERA – the Academy of European Law – organized its Annual Conference on European Consumer Law 2020. It provided an insight into the main priorities of the new Consumer Agenda and remarks on key topics such as the impact of Covid-19 on consumer protection, the new Digital Services Act package, and the Collective redress framework in the EU with a specific focus on the new EU Directive on representative actions for the protection of collective interests of consumers. This report starts with an introduction to several presentations given by renowned scholars, followed by an overview of the recent Representative Actions Directive.

Ulla Liukkunen on  Employment and Private International Law

Written by Ulla Liukkunen, Professor of Labour Law and Private International Law at the University of Helsinki

The volume ´Employment and Private International Law´, edited by Ulla Liukkunen, has been published in the Private International Law Series (series editor: Symeon C. Symeonides)

of Edward Elgar Publishing in December 2020.

This edited collection gathers together a set of articles that address labour law and labour protection issues that are central to understanding the complex development of private international law and its tasks as well as broadening challenges of this field. The introduction by the editor, Ulla Liukkunen, Professor of Labour Law and Private International Law at the University of Helsinki, draws attention to characteristics of major developments in the field but also assesses the broader regulatory framework and challenges under way to traditional approaches. These challenges relate to both transnational labour law developments that require reassessment of the role of private international law and developments that derive from the ongoing transformation of substantive employment law itself, unfolding the limitations of protection restricted to a certain pre-determined legal status of the weaker party only.


Book published: The Vienna Convention in America

Iacyr de Aguilar Vieira, Gustavo Cerqueira (Eds.), The Vienna Convention in America. 40th anniversary of the United Nation Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods / La Convention de Vienne en Amérique. 40eanniversaire de la Convention des Nations Unies sur les contrats de vente internationale des marchandisesParis : Société de législation comparée, 2020, 408 p. (available in hard copy and e-book)

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, the Latin American section of the Société de législation comparée has published this book to present the Convention’s current state of application in different American countries, as well as to evaluate its influence on domestic sales laws.

ERA Online Seminar: Digital Technology in Family Matters

On 27 January 2021 ERA (Academy of European Law) will host an online seminar to discuss practical implications of using digital technology in family law cases that often involve vulnerable parties and will therefore need special attention within the digitalisation of justice.

Among the key topics addressed in this event are:

  • Legal Tech in family law – and how it affects the lawyer’s work
  • Digitalisation of family courts, paperless systems and remote hearings
  • Online divorce and ODR
  • e-codex and the digitalisation of justice systems
  • Artificial intelligence in family matters
  • Experiences abroad

Additional information about this event is available here.

The Law Applicable to Cross-border Contracts involving Weaker Parties in EU Private International Law

Maria Campo Comba just published a book titled: “The Law Applicable to Cross-border Contracts involving Weaker Parties in EU Private International Law” with Springer.  The abstract reads as follows:

This book provides answers to the following questions: how do traditional principles of private international law relate to the requirements of the internal market for the realisation of the EU’s objectives regarding the protection of weaker parties such as consumers and employees? When and how should private international law ensure the applicability of EU directives concerning the protection of weaker parties? Are the EU’s current private international law, rules on conflict of laws, and private international law approach sufficient to ensure the realisation of its objectives regarding weaker contracting parties, or is a different approach to private international law called for? The book concludes with several proposed amendments, mainly regarding the Rome I Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations, as well as suggestions on the EU’s current approach to private international law.