CALL: 2018

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences


LAST NAME: Poillot



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg


START: 30-06-2019

END: 30-12-2019


Submitted Abstract

The “Clinicity project” aims to promote a new type of participatory research in the field of Consumer Law. Starting from a concrete legal case, it demonstrates to school students how legal research on a specific consumer law case can improve legislation in a bottom-up approach. The project takes place within the framework of the Consumer Law Clinic of the University of Luxembourg where the actual staff, called the “student-clinicians”, provide legal advice to consumers. They work under the supervision of academic professors and practicing lawyers. Clinicians also use those real-life cases to identify legislation gaps in the field of consumer law and to conduct legal research on them. In a “bottom-up approach”, the Clinic is therefore in a privileged position which enables it to identify legislative gaps and it is furthermore a particularly efficient means to conduct studies to help the legislator fill them. The programme is grounded on legal research-based learning. Precisely, through the recent Clinic work, it was observed in particular that online platforms are becoming major actors of e-commerce. Yet, there is no specific legislation to protect consumers when buying goods or services through online platforms. As a consequence, there is an urgent need both to prevent the dangers resulting from such loopholes and to develop new legal protection mechanisms that will fill them, through legal research. In that frame, the “Clinicity project” fulfills both these needs. The objective is to have the clinicians meet young consumers outside the University venue, in other words, to take the Clinic to the city (“Clinicity”). The researchers will go to secondary schools in order to sensitize young e-consumers to specific online legal risks and explain how the University Clinic conducts legal research to help prevent them. The choice made to have researchers going to schools rather than to invite school students to come to the university aims to give “to desecrate” the representation the school students may have of research. Research will be perceived as more accessible and open to any kind of public. The audience involved interactively in the project are school students who will surf on websites during the presentation and will be guided to identify legal problems newly raised by online platforms. They are put in the consumer’s place and brainstormed during the intervention on how to answer to such online legal problems. It will be the clinicians’ task here to explain to school students in a simple and straight-forward way which legal solutions could be conceived to fill the gaps and how they could be implemented in Luxembourg law. The Clinicity programme makes research in law more open and transparent, more collaborative and accessible to young people. It explains the importance of research in human sciences in general, and in the legal field in particular.
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