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CALL FOR PAPERS: International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in a Comparative Perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law’

Call for papers Macau

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 May 2017

 

The Theme

 

On 21 November 2013 China and the European Union launched negotiations for a comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement. China is the EU’s second trading partner and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner. The agreement aims at progressive liberalisation of investment and the elimination of restrictions for investors to each other’s market, providing a more secure legal framework to investors of both sides. The European Union is a single market economy populated by approximately 500 million high-income consumers and a qualified labour force. On the other hand, Chinese policy over the last years has shifted from an export-led growth model to one that focuses more on the domestic market, with the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasizing the importance of moving towards an ‘ecological civilization’. The construction of an ecological civilization requires a global effort to improve people’s well-being while guaranteeing the future of the country. This concept balances economic development and environmental protection, putting ecological civilization on an equal footing with the civilizations of politics, economy, society, and culture. These different dimensions relate to diverse societal aspirations and concerns and must be addressed by Chinese policymakers. While the European Union is a well-established market economy with a high level of consumer protection, China is rapidly turning into a fully-fledged consumer society, raising new problems and challenges. In 2015 and 2016 the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau hosted two conferences on Consumer Policy in China. This third conference continues the debate on a wide range of issues that have a direct or indirect impact on consumer protection. The goal is to promote a discussion about how to strike a proper balance between economic development and consumer protection in modern-day China. The on-going negotiations for a comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement provide an eloquent example of how consumer policy is deeply intertwined with varied fields of Law and impacted by national and international legal frameworks. Consumer policy thus requires a holistic approach that balances trade and investment promotion policies with the protection of societal concerns such as the safeguard of consumer interests and environmental protection.

Topics

 

The organizing committee welcomes proposals on any topic relating to the general theme. The scope of the conference is interdisciplinary and submissions from backgrounds other than Law are especially welcome. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) International, European, and Chinese law and consumer protection

b) UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection and how those Guidelines have influenced national legislations in different parts of the world, namely China

c) Contemporary Issues of consumer protection in China, Europe, and worldwide

d) How consumer policy in China has aligned with international and European standards

e) Asian perspective on consumer protection and consumer rights

f) Access to water and food

g) Product safety

h) Services of general economic interest

i) Environmental protection

j) E-commerce

k) Trade, investment, and consumer protection

l) Resolution of consumer disputes

 

Submission Guidelines

 

Abstracts in English should be no more than 800 words long and contain the name, institutional affiliation and contact details of the author. A copy of the author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications, should also be attached. Submission should be sent by 15 May 2017 in Word or PDF format to fernandodsimoes@umac.mo and pdfarah@mail.wvu.edu.

 

Publication

 

The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. Therefore, all selected contributions must be original and not published elsewhere. Some funding will be available to defray the expenses with transportation and accommodation of participants subject to the presentation of a final full paper by 31 September 2017.

 

Organizing Committee

 

Fernando Dias Simões (University of Macau)

Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK)

Julien Chaisse (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

 

This conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on “International Environmental Law”, and gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom). The conference is part of the research project led by Professor Fernando Dias Simões entitled ‘Consumer Policy in China: Protecting the Citizens, Strengthening the Domestic Market and Building an Ecological Civilization’ (Research Project funded by the University of Macau, Project Reference MYRG2015-00219-FLL).

 

                                  

 

 

Second International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges’

howells

Brilliant kick-off to the Second International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges’ with Professor Geraint Howells’ keynote speech.

Second International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges’

conference-leaflet

On 6 and 7 December 2016 the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau will be hosting the Second International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges’. The conference features speakers from Macau, mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America and includes panels on the following topics:

  • Consumers’ Right to Information
  • Consumer Policy, Trade and Investment
  • Consumer Policy and Dispute Resolution
  • Consumer Policy and New Marketplaces
  • Internet Domain Name: Consumer Policy on the Digital Market
  • Consumer Policy and Competition Law
  • Consumer Policy and Healthcare Services

This conference is part of the research project Consumer Policy in China: Protecting the Citizens, Strengthening the Domestic Market and Building an Ecological Civilization’ (Research Project funded by the University of Macau, Project Reference MYRG2015-00219-FLL).

You can download the full programme here.

Call for papers: Second International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in China – New Trends and Challenges’

UMAC

Faculty of Law of the University of Macau (Macau, China), 6-7 December 2016

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: 6 NOVEMBER 2016

The Theme

China’ 12th Five-Year Plan shifted the strategy from export-led growth to one that focuses more on the domestic market. Furthermore, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasized the importance of moving towards an ecological civilization. The construction of an ecological civilization requires a global effort to improve people’s well-being while guaranteeing the future of the country. This concept balances economic development and environmental protection, putting ecological civilization on an equal footing with the civilizations of politics, economy, society, and culture. These different dimensions relate to diverse societal aspirations and concerns and must be addressed by Chinese policymakers. The second largest economy in the world is now also a true consumer society, raising new problems and challenges. On 16 December 2015 the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau hosted the first conference in this series. The purpose of the second conference is to continue the debate on a wide range of issues in modern-day China that have a direct or indirect impact on consumer protection. The scope of the conference is interdisciplinary and submissions from backgrounds other than Law are especially welcome.

Topics

The organizing committee welcomes proposals on any topic relating to consumer policy in China. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) Access to water and food

b) Product safety

c) Services of General Economic Interest

d) Environmental protection

e) E-commerce

f) Trade, Investment, and Consumer Protection

g) Healthcare and Patients’ Rights

h) Resolution of Consumer Disputes

 

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts in English should be no more than 800 words long and contain the name, institutional affiliation and contact details of the author. Abstracts should be sent by 6 November 2016 in Word or PDF format to consumerpolicychina@gmail.com.

 

Publication

The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. Therefore, all selected contributions must be original and not published elsewhere. Selected presenters will be required to submit full papers by 31 March 2017.

 

Organizing Committee

Fernando Dias Simões (University of Macau)

Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK)

Julien Chaisse (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy (University of Macau)

 

 

This conference is part of the research project led by Professor Fernando Dias Simões entitled ‘Consumer Policy in China: Protecting the Citizens, Strengthening the Domestic Market and Building an Ecological Civilization’ (Research Project funded by the University of Macau, Project Reference MYRG2015-00219-FLL).

 

You can download the call for papers here.

Citizen’s Voice in Water Governance: Public-Private Partnerships as Triangular Relations

Workshop FAU

On 22 and 23 April I will be participating in the ‘Workshop and Expert Seminar: Best Practices for the Protection of Water in Times of Crisis. Focus on Participatory Instruments in Environmental Law and Policies’, to be hosted by the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, in Erlangen (Germany). My paper is titled ‘Citizen’s Voice in Water Governance: Public-Private Partnerships as Triangular Relations’.

Here is the abstract:

The marketization of water services that took place over the last decades, in developed and developing countries alike, deeply transformed the role of the State in the provision of these services. The conclusion of Public-Private Partnerships lead to an emphasis on the economics of private investment. Despite being increasingly operated from an economic angle, water is also a public good in the sense that it is vital for the protection of public interests. This entails the right of citizens to participate in the decisions about how water services are managed. According to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment No. 15: The Right to Water (2003), the right of individuals and groups to participate in decision-making processes that may affect their exercise of the right to water must be an integral part of any policy, programme or strategy concerning water. However, Public-Private Partnerships are frequently presented as being less representative and participatory than public management, as citizens are frequently given no right to participate in decision-making processes. These legal instruments promoted the dissociation between services provided by the state and services that relate to public interests, frequently without the creation of a clear legal framework to govern these services. This poses a challenge to the publicness of public services due to the reorientation of state policies and administrative reforms towards the principles of market and business management.

Over the last years access to water has been viewed from a different perspective – that of human rights – according to which water is a fundamental human right and therefore should not be subject to private management. From this viewpoint, the participation of private actors in water services provision can result in a decreased respect for human rights. However, the affirmation of a human right to water is not in itself incompatible with private operation of water services. While governments under General Comment No. 15 are required to provide access to affordable, safe water without discrimination, it does not rule out the possibility of privatisation.

Citizens’ participation in water governance is essential for the protection of public interests. Public-Private Partnerships in the water sector should not be viewed as bilateral relationships between the public and the private sector but rather as triangular relationships that include citizens and communities. This presentation aims at discussing how states can craft legal frameworks that promote greater transparency and public participation in water governance. Governments need to rethink their domestic legislations and Public-Private Partnerships to ensure that they provide sufficient room for the consideration of citizens’ interests and opinions. The public interests associated with water management justify an enhanced measure of transparency and openness to civil society. Greater transparency enhances the public’s ability to actively take part in water services governance, contributing to more responsible contracting by companies and governments.