The point of departure in consumer law is that the consumer is the weaker party vis-a-vis a professional party. This has been the reason for the installment of specific rules that aim to establish (more) balance in the contractual relationship between a consumer and a professional party. Such rules can only be effective either if parties comply spontaneously (for example by means of self-regulation) or if there is effective enforcement.

Self-regulation is not always enough and enforcement by individual consumers is lacking effectiveness for various reasons. Collective and administrative enforcement therefore are particularly relevant in the field of consumer law. By means of the Wet handhaving consumentenrechten the enforcement of (European) consumer rights has been entrusted to the Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM). As a result, the application of the mainly private law rules of consumer law has been transferred to the administrative law domain.

This research project explores this relatively new topic: administrative consumer law. It aims to take stock of the questions and problems that (may) arise in this context. And subsequently provide answers, or possible solutions with regard to the pinpointed issues. For example: the questions that may arise concerning the administrative enforcement of open norms in relation to the principle of legality, proportionality and subsidiarity. And: how do the administrative sanctions relate to other enforcement mechanisms? And subsequently: how can the available enforcement mechanisms be used in a mutual beneficial manner so that optimal enforcement of consumer rights can be achieved?

Researchers: Dr. M.Y. Schaub
Topic: Distribution of responsibilities on the market 
Approach:  Public and private law; General legal concepts and specific legal rules

• M.Y. Schaub, ‘How to make the best of mandatory information duties in consumer law’, European Review of Private Law 2017/1, p. 25-44.
• M.Y. Schaub, ‘Wie is consument?’, Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht 2017/1, p. 30-40.
• M.Y. Schaub, ‘Anmerkungen zur administrativen Durchsetzung der Verbraucherrechte in den Niederlanden’, Verbrauchersrechtstage, Berlin 16 April 2016.
• M.Y. Schaub, ‘Een vliegreis maken, terwijl je je woning verhuurt via Airbnb?, Van de redactie’, Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht 2016/4, p. 149-150.
• M.Y. Schaub, ‘Van Consumentenautoriteit naar Autoriteit Consument & Markt’, Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht en handelspraktijken 2014, p. 107-113.

News and agenda

Pim Huisman attended the workshop of the international network Public Contracts in Legal Globalization (PCLG) in Lausanne on 10 may 2019. The topic of this workshop was ‘Concessions and similar instruments’. Huisman presented a study of 5 cases concerning the exploitation of casino’s, public transport, mining, advertising objects and of parking garages

➢ International expert meeting 'Optimising public interests by competitive tendering'
On Thursday 25 January (afternoon) and Friday 26 January 2018 (morning) a well-attended international expert meeting took place at VU University Amsterdam about 'Optimising Public Interests by Competitive Tendering'.

➢ CPC-delegation attended workshop network ‘Public Contracts in Legal Globalization’
A delegation of CPC – Chris Jansen, Pim Huisman, Frank van Ommeren and Sophie Prent – attended the annual workshop of the international network Public Contracts in Legal Globalization (PCLG) in Paris on 15 december 2017.

➢ CPC hosts international expert meeting at VU University Amsterdam about Competitive Tendering
On Thursday 25 Januari 2018 (afternoon) and Friday 26 January (morning) 2018 an international expert meeting will take place at VU University Amsterdam about 'Optimising Public Interests by Competitive Tendering'.

➢ CPC hosting Research Network Public Contracts in Legal Globalization

The Spring workshop of the Research Network Public Contracts in Legal Globalization (PCLG) will be hosted by CPC on 22 and 23 June 2017 at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. This workshop marks the launch of a new project of the Network: the impact of competitive tendering and its regulation on the formation and execution of public contracts and concessions.

➢ Masterclasses Public Procurement Law
As in previous years, VU Law Academy will organise in 2017 four masterclasses public procurement law (Masterclasses aanbestedingsrecht, only in Dutch) in close co-operation with CPC. These masterclasses will focus on topics that are currently under debate in public procurement practice. On May 17, the masterclass will be dedicated to ...

➢ IBR-chair Standardization and Conformity Assessment to CPC
The Dutch Institute for Construction Law (Instituut voor Bouwrecht, only in Dutch) provides the Law Faculty of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with € 25.000,- per annum for a period of five years, for the purpose of establishing a chair dedicated to Standardization and Conformity Assessment. This area is of great importance from the perspective of both administrative law in general and planning and construction law in particular...

➢ CPC contributes to government expert meeting on investigatory powers of municipal courts of audit
On December 5, 2016, CPC researchers Frank van Ommeren and Chris Jansen participated in an expert meeting organised by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The meeting discussed whether municipal courts of audit have sufficient investigatory powers and whether legislation is needed as a means to deal with possible problems in this respect.

➢ Rianne Jacobs appointed professor of Legislation and Regulation
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed Rianne Jacobs as honorary professor of Legislation and Regulation as of September 1, 2016. The Ministry of Security and Justice has helped establishing this endowed chair. Based on her experience as a legislation lawyer, Jacobs will investigate as CPC researcher issues regarding the transposition of public policy goals into legislation. Examples of such issues are: the implications of technological developments (digitalization) as well as Europeanization and globalization for legislation.

➢ University Research Chair granted to CPC researcher Jacobien Rutgers
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed CPC researcher Jacobien Rutgers as full professor in the University Research Chair (URC) program as of January 1, 2017. VU University Research Chair (URC) is a selective and privileged appointment as full professor. The chair has been created to recognize ...

➢ International book project ‘Scarcity and the State’
CPC researcher Frank van Ommeren co-edited two books on the allocation of scarce public rights, in close co-operation with Paul Adriaanse (Leiden University), Willemien den Ouden (Leiden University) and Johan Wolswinkel ...


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