The Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law (SICCL) in collaboration with the project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) welcomes proposals for papers to be presented at the international conference on ‘Consumers as sustainable market actors’ on Thursday 6th July 2017.
Conference background and overarching questions
The conference intends to think critically about the role which consumers can play for the promotion of greater sustainable development. It invites papers that discuss how consumers already contribute to the promotion of sustainable development and how consumers could do this better if, for example, amendments to the law were made. The conference is open to both papers that address this topic in what is known as consumer protection law (e.g. product liability or trade descriptions) and papers that creatively look at the role consumers can play in other areas such as corporate governance.
We understand sustainable development as the ‘development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life-support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends’ (Griggs et al, Nature, 2013). The workshop will contribute to the SMART project which aims to do research that will serve to promote global, sustainable development within a circular, zero-emission economy compatible with the planetary boundaries and in line with the international development goals.
The discussions will look at both opportunities and barriers to promoting greater sustainable development through consumers. The workshop is open to private and public law perspectives and to disciplines other than law. The research will feed into a comprehensive analysis of the regulatory complexity of consumers within the SMART project. Whereas the conference will try and find new ways for consumers to be a force for good by promoting sustainable Development, papers that discuss the limits of consumers in this context are also welcome.
We invite applications to present papers which address the overarching question of how consumers could contribute to greater sustainable development and which analyse and/or critique topics such as (non-exhaustive list):
(1) Theoretical framings of the role of consumer law and the scope and aims of current consumer (protection) law
(2) The role of consumers in corporate governance: From purchasers to participants?
(3) Consumers and global value chains: A force for good or bad?
(4) Sustainability marketing and consumers: Green reputation strategies and the law on misleading and unfair advertising
(5) Enforcement of sustainability codes of conduct
(6) Sale of goods: Are existing consumer rights fit for purpose for the promotion of sustainable development?
(7) Enforcement of consumer laws: From individual redress to class actions?
(8) Product liability law and sustainable development
(9) Product safety laws and sustainable development
(10) Regulation which affects the behaviour of business and consumers which is a barrier to sustainable development
(11) Environmental law and consumer protection
Proposals should be submitted with a suggested title, author’s name and affiliation and an abstract of approximately 500 words to Dr Andreas Rühmkorf by 13th April 2017. Authors will be informed of the final decision by 21st April 2017. The choice of proposals will seek to ensure a balanced representation of the various aspects of the conference theme. Contributors will be expected to submit a full draft paper for the workshop by 23rd June 2017.
A peer-reviewed publication (edited book or special issue of a journal) is anticipated as the outcome of the workshop. A willingness to contribute to this is expected from those presenting at the Conference.
There is no registration fee for the conference. Lunch, tea & coffee and light refreshments will be provided for all participants during the conference. Speakers will also be invited to our speakers’ dinner, free of charge. Please be advised that we are not able to cover funds for travel and accommodation.