UCL Faculty of Laws


CLES team led by Prof Lianos publish WEF White Paper on Global Online Consumer Protection

25 March 2019

The CLES (Centre for Law, Economics and Society) team led by Professor Ioannis Lianos publishes White Paper on Global Governance of Online Consumer Protection and E-Commerce for the World Economic Forum

A person logging into the Wi-Fi network on their phone

A CLES team led by Professor Ioannis Lianos, with the participation of Dr. Despoina Mantzari, Dr. Gracia Marín Durán, Dr Amber Darr and Dr. Azza Raslan has published a White Paper on the Global Governance of Online Consumer Protection and E-Commerce that was commissioned by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The team was ably assisted by Arlyn Wiener (UCL Laws, LL.M. 2018)

The White Paper, which forms part of ongoing work at the Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES) on digital consumer protection, explores international hurdles to e-commerce that challenge consumer trust. This is an important issue that has significantly affected the development of e-commerce globally, as this recent blog post by Professor Ioannis Lianos, chair of global competition law and public policy and the founding director of the CLES, and Kimberley Botwright, Community lead at the WEF, explains.

One important limiting factor is the perception that cross-border online transactions and delivery are less secure and that remedies do not exist for when something goes wrong. Countries have made efforts to align their approaches towards online consumer protection and in January 2019, 76 nations responsible for 90% of global trade committed to begin negotiations on the trade-related aspects of e-commerce. 

The White Paper provides a brief overview of the online consumer protection landscape and the actors within it. It offers examples of specific forms of online consumer protection and outlines efforts to boost regulatory coherence at regional and global levels – including examining the role for trade policy. It was prepared in collaboration with a number of international stakeholders from e-commerce platforms, consumer associations and others, who provided insightful feedback to the drafting team on the challenges they face. Hence, this White Paper and the research Report in preparation by the CLES team constitutes an excellent example of putting law in context and an illustration of the real international impact of CLES' work in public policy. Stay tuned for the publication of the CLES Research study on the Global Governance in e-Commerce later this Spring!

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