International conference: Consumers as sustainable market actors

The Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law (SICCL) in collaboration with the project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) are hosting a free one day conference which welcomes scholars to think critically about the role which consumers can play for the promotion of greater sustainable development. 

How sustainable are your clothes? Photo: SMART/Astrid Arnslett

Exploring the role of consumers for sustainability

The aim of this conference is to critically consider the role which consumers can play for the promotion of greater sustainable development. 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.

Both public and private law perspectives are represented at the conference. The conference consists of papers that address the topic through 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. The discussions will look at both opportunities and barriers to promoting greater sustainable development through consumers.


Thursday, 6 July

08:45 – 09:15 Registration, tea and coffee

09:15 – 09:45 Welcome and introduction into the day

Dr Andreas Rühmkorf

09:45 – 10:30 Keynote

Professor Peter Rott (University of Kassel) ‘Consumers and the promotion of sustainable development – between (ab)use and empowerment’


10:30 – 10:45 Tea break


10:45 – 12:15 Session 1: Broadening the scope of consumers as sustainable market actors

Dr Kati Cseres (University of Amsterdam), ‘Energy consumers as sustainable market actors’

Dr Jacek Dybiński (Jagiellonian University in Krakow), ‘Consumer protection in EU capital market laws – on a need for looking anew at concepts and rules of consumer protection in all dimensions of EU market in financial instruments regulation’

Dr Alessandra Quarta (University of Turin), ‘Product Liability Law Metamorphoses in the Age of Sharing Economy’


12:15 -13:00 Lunch


13:00 – 14:30 Session 2: Consumers in corporate governance and supply chains

Ms Anuradha Ghosh (West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences), ‘Consumers and Corporate Governance: Comparing Rights, Regulations and Regulatory Systems’

Mr Jaakko Salminen (University of Turku), ‘Mindless Buyers, Conscientious Motivators, Rabid Litigators: Evaluating the Different Roles of Consumers in Typologies of Supply Chain Governance’

Mr Luke Blindell (University of Sheffield), ‘The customer is not always right: The limits of ethical consumerism in enhancing corporate social performance’


14:30 – 14:45 Tea break

14:45 – 16:15 Session 3: Consumer litigation, product safety and sustainability

Professor Anabela Susana de Sousa Gonçalves, Assistant Professor (University of Minho), ‘The international jurisdiction in e-commerce international consumer contract’

Dr Adaeze Okoye (Canterbury Christ Church University), ‘Drinks products, Sustainable Development and product safety standards: The Nigeria ‘Fanta’& ‘Sprite’ case’

Mr Lee Hansen (University of Essex) and Dr Renginee G. Pillay (University of Essex), ‘(Just) Doing it Twenty Years on – Revisiting Nike v Kasky for Human Rights and Sustainable Development’

16:15 – 16:30 Tea break

16:30 – 17:00 Final conclusions and discussion of the next steps


Participation at the Conference

Registration is free and open until Friday 30th June 2017 at 2 pm. Register here.





Published May 11, 2017 10:25 AM - Last modified July 5, 2017 9:30 AM