UCL Faculty of Laws


Polycentric competition law

19 October 2017, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm


Event Information

Open to







Centre for Law, Economics and Society


UCL Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre (G08) Roberts Building, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE

Speaker: Professor Ioannis Lianos (UCL Laws)
Chair: The Honourable Judge Dennis Davis (Judge of the High Court of South Africa, Judge President of the Competition Appeal Court of South Africa and Professor at the University of Cape Town)
Series: Current Legal Problems 2017-18

About the lecture

In a world marked by financial instability, limited growth, rising inequality, deteriorating environment, growing corporate consolidation, and political turmoil, calls are made to shift the dominant competition law paradigm towards new directions. These may bring competition law beyond its usual comfort zone of assessing business, or government, practices from the point of view of their effect on prices, output and, more broadly, consumer welfare.

Competition law is seen as a tool to be used in various circumstances in order to “correct” market, but also non-market (e.g. government) failures, that result from restrictions of competition, to the extent that these affect social welfare. These failures may relate to the protection of personal data and privacy, the protection of the environment, the promotion of social mobility, the harnessing of disruptive innovation, or the mitigation of technology risks. Some go even further and argue that competition law may well be employed in order to preserve a number of other “values” of social justice, thought to be intrinsic in democratic capitalism and the liberal order, and to which competition law should be sensitive.

These calls for an extension of the competition law field have been met with fierce resistance, some contending that the methods, the tools, the procedures and the main sources of wisdom of competition law are ill-suited for such an expansive role, and that other kinds of social rules and institutional arrangements may be better suited for taking into account these concerns. The lecture will assess these competing claims and their underlying presuppositions with the aim to unveil and portray the rites of passage in this transition, and to explore the liminal condition of modern competition law.

About the speaker

Ioannis Lianos holds the chair of global competition law and policy at UCL Laws. He is also Director of the Centre for Law, Economics and Society and Executive Director of the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics

He joined UCL in September 2005. He was awarded a Gutenberg Research chair at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the elite public administration school of the French republic in November 2011 and was appointed in 2015 chief researcher at the Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, the leading innovation law centre at the Russian Federation. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Chile in Santiago, the Centre for Industrial Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg and has been an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the WZB and Humboldt University, Berlin, as well as an Emile Noel fellow at NYU Law School and a visiting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Lianos is a Non-Governmental Advisor at the International Competition Network since 2009, a research partner to UNCTAD in competition law and policy since 2010, and an elected member of the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute since 2010, as well as many other research centres in the area of competition law around the globe. He is also the co-editor of the YEARBOOK OF EUROPEAN LAW (published by Oxford University Press), the book review editor of WORLD COMPETITION REVIEW, as well as the general editor of the newly launched GLOBAL COMPETITION LAW, ECONOMICS and PUBLIC POLICY book series (published by Cambridge University Press).

He has published extensively books and articles in various languages and leading academic journals. His most recent publications include Competition Law: Analysis, Cases and Materials (in press, OUP, 2017), Brands, Competition and IP Law (CUP, 2015), Damages Actions for Competition Law Infringements (OUP, 2015), Competition and the State (SUP, 2014), the two volumes Handbook in European Competition Law (Edward Elgar, 2013), Competition Law and Development (SUP, 2013), The EU after the Treaty of Lisbon (CUP, 2012), Regulating Trade in Services in the EU and the WTO (CUP, 2012).

During the 2017-2018 academic year his following authored and co-authored publications will appear: Economic Evidence in EU Competition Law (forth. OUP, 2018), Competition Law and IP Rights: Promoting Innovation (forth. OUP, 2018), Competition Law: Enforcement and Procedure (forth. OUP, 2018), as well as an edited collection on Competition Law: Between Equity and Efficiency (forth. CUP, 2018).

In 2012 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme prize for his seminal research on economic evidence. He is also a Laureat of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (2005) and has won many international prizes for his research. Since 2014, he is a member of the review college of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. He has advised a number of governments and companies on competition law, IP law matters as well as better regulation (impact assessment, CBA).

About Current Legal Problems

The Current Legal Problems annual lecture series was established over sixty years ago. The lectures are public, delivered on a weekly basis and chaired by members of the judiciary.

The Current Legal Problems (CLP) annual volume is published on behalf of UCL Laws by Oxford University Press, and features scholarly articles that offer a critical analysis of important current legal issues.

It covers all areas of legal sponsorship and features a wide range of methodological approaches to law. With its emphasis on contemporary developments, CLP is a major point of reference for legal scholarship.

Find out more about CLP on the Oxford University Press website


Please email the UCL Laws events team at laws-events@ucl.ac.uk