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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic

Events of the 4th year

"Consumers in the Digital Market" – Farewell Celebration of the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic

On Thursday, 21 April 2016, the farewell celebration of the current year of the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic took place under the theme of "Consumers in the Digital Market". In their presentation Professor Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna) and Professor Marco Loos (University of Amsterdam) focused on different aspects of the European Commission’s Strategy for the digital Internal Market.

Professor Michael Kämper-van den Boogaart (Vice-President for Academic and International Affairs of Humboldt University Berlin) gave a welcome speech.

Professor Marco Loos held a presentation on the topic "Remedies for non-conformity of digital content". He gave an overview of the proposal for a directive regulating certain aspects of the supply of digital content, followed by an outline of the clear rules of conformity in the proposal. Professor Loos presented the numerous remedies the proposal states in the event that digital content does not conform to the contract. Professor Loos highlighted that the proposal can be seen as well-developed but that it still requires further clarification. Based on this analysis he discussed several open questions, regarding, for example the burden of proof, the legal consequences of termination of the contract and the question whether a claim for damages should be awarded only in cases of economic damages. In conclusion, Professor Loos highlighted the need for improvement concerning remedies in cases where digital content does not conform to the contract.

Professor Christiane Wendehorst's presentation was titled "Goods and digital content in the 21st century – two worlds apart? A critical evaluation of the Commission’s contract law strategy for the Digital Single Market". She outlined the two proposals for directives in the field of contract law published on 9 December 2015 by the European Commission, one on the supply of digital content and the other on the sale of tangible goods. Despite their similarities, Professor Wendehorst stated that the sale of tangible goods and the supply of digital content are submitted to two different regimes. With numerous examples she highlighted the difficulties concerning the distinction between the tangible and digital worlds. The problems of demarcation are substantial because goods in the digital age are often hybrid products, consisting of tangible substance, of digital content that is stored on the device, and of digital content that is provided online within long-term framework relationships. In the near future, a major portion of consumer goods will be embedded with digital content and network connectivity. Prof. Wendehorst pointed out conclusively that the split regime proposed by the European Commission is an important first step in order to deal with new legal aspects of the digital world. Nevertheless, it does not state clear and convincing criteria for the submission to the one or the other regime, and it leaves space for improvement

The presentations were followed by a vivid and interesting discussion.

Finally, the participants of the 4th year of the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic were honoured and received their certificates from Professor Kämper-van den Boogaart, Vice-President for Academic and International Affairs of Humboldt University Berlin.

Consumer in the Digital Market












Delegation of the HCLC in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

On 5 November 2015 a delegation of the HCLC spent a day in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and had the chance to discuss two current topics of ministerial work - privacy and collective enforcement – with State Secretary Gerd Billen. 


Delegation of the HCLC in the Comittee on Legal Affairs of the Bundestag

On 30 September 2015 a delegation of the HCLC visited the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection of the German Bundestag. The reason for the visit was the Committee's public consultation on the topic "Alternative Dispute Resolution". The federal government and the CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary group introduced a bill having the aim of transposing the EU Directive on alternative dispute resolution in consumer issues and performing the Regulation on online dispute resolution in consumer issues. Various experts explained to the members of the Committee their point of views. The students of the HCLC had the chance to examine the fields of consumer law, and especially, alternative dispute resolution from a legal policy perspective.


im Bundestag im Bundestag


Delegation of the HCLC at the Kammergericht

On 30 June 2015 a delegation of the HCLC visited an appeal hearing at the Kammergericht. The students had the chance to gain insight into consumer law from a procedural law perspective. Before the hearing started the students had the possibility to talk to the parties.

im Kammergericht