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National Seminar on "Protection of Consumer Welfare in India: The Role of Competition Law and Consumer Law"

School of Legal Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is pleased to organize a two day National Seminar on "Protection of Consumer Welfare in India: The Role of Competition Law and Consumer Law"

Date: 27th - 28th February, 2015

Modern society, being a market society, depends on goods available in the market for satisfying his basic needs. He no longer depends on nature for the same. Due to industrialization and globalization the market-system also developed and finished goods and various services were available in the markets for buying and selling. Thus every human being came to known as a 'consumer'. Availability of goods and services in the markets made it easy and convenient for the consumers to select and choose the appropriate goods and services as per their needs and for improving their quality of life.

It is to be noted that the market system also led to exploitation of consumers due to various practices such as price hikes, production and supply of substandard and hazardous goods, use of false weights and measures, adulteration, false and misleading advertisements, misbranding, black marketing and hoarding etc. It is the duty of the State to see that the consumers are not being exploited in the market by the manufacturers and sellers. Legislative intervention is seen to have made by various countries to protect the rights of the consumers. India is not an exception to this. Various policies and legislations have been adopted to ensure the interests of the consumers and to prevent any practices which have an adverse effect on consumer welfare. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is a milestone in this area.

Globalization and liberalization and the development of markets in India, brought stiff competition among the different market-players and stakeholders. Unhealthy competition led to the adoption of anti-competitive practices and thus leads to exploitation of the consumers. The Competition Act, 2002 addresses this issue. It would curb anti-competitive practices with a view to promote effective competition in the market and thus lead to maximization of consumer welfare. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the Competition Act, 2002 have a common goal of protection of consumers. The former sets minimum quality and safety standards for both goods and services along with grievance redressal mechanism. The latter ensures effective competition through preventing anti-competitive agreements, abusive practices and combinations having anti-competitive effects.

However in spite of these legislative efforts, it is argued that, though these legislations are there, the slogans 'Consumer is Sovereign' and 'Customer is the King' are nothing more than myths in the present day scenario where the market is ever-growing and so complicated with newer and newer products. Hence, in this context it is necessary to discuss how far Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and Competition Act, 2002 have achieved their primary objectives of ensuring consumer welfare.

This 'Two Day National Seminar on Consumer Welfare in India: The Role of Competition Law and Consumer Law' attempts to examine the interface between the Consumer Laws and the Competition Law and their role in protecting the rights of the consumers. This seminar will also deliberate on the issue whether these laws are adequate to protect and advance the interests and welfare of the consumers in the contemporary India.

Call for Papers:
Research papers are invited from the academicians, researchers, practitioners and students on the broad themes given below. An abstract containing not more than 350 words should be sent. On acceptance of abstracts, full papers should be sent by the authors.

Themes & Sub-Themes:

  1. Consumer Welfare and Role of Competition Law
    • Anti-Competitive Agreements
    • Abuse of Dominance
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Role of Enforcement Agencies
    • Interface between Consumer Laws and Competition Law
    • Competition Act, 2002: Done and Undone

  2. Emerging Areas under Competition Law and Consumer Welfare
    • Anti-Dumping and Competition Law
    • Private Enforcement of Competition Law
    • Criminalization of Competition Law
    • Extra-Territorial Application of Competition Law
    • Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law

  3. Consumer Welfare and Role of Consumer Laws
    • The Concept of Consumer
    • Unfair Practices, Misleading Advertisements and its Regulation
    • E- Consumers and their Protection
    • Working of Consumer Redressal Forums
    • Compensatory Jurisprudence in Consumer Law

Papers are invited on any of the above themes. The list is not exhaustive. The themes that are not covered above, but have relevance in the thrust area of seminar may also be submitted.

Submission Guidelines:
All abstracts and full papers must be submitted electronically via email to: slsnationalseminar@gmail.com in the format given below:

  • The abstract should not be more than 350 words and must contain the following details such as Title of the Paper, Name of the Author, University/ Institution/ Organization, Email Address, Mobile Number etc.
  • The full paper should be between 3500 - 4000 words (exclusive of footnotes)
  • The main text should be in Times New Roman with font size 12 and spacing of 1.5.
  • All references must be in the form of footnotes. The footnotes should be in Times New Roman, font size 10 with single spacing. The authors should follow OSCOLA standard of footnoting.
  • Co-authorship is allowed only upto two authors.
  • All entries must be original and unpublished work of the author(s) and should not have been submitted for publication/published elsewhere in any form. Any sort of plagiarism will not be entertained.

Publication of Papers:
The organizers propose to publish the selected best papers of the Seminar as an edited book with ISBN Number.

Important Dates:

Last Date of Sending Abstracts

5th January, 2015

Intimation regarding Selection of Abstracts

8th January, 2015

Last Date of Sending Full Papers

6th February, 2015

Travel & Accommodation:

  • The participants are required to make their own arrangements for accommodation. However, for any assistance participants can contact organizers.
  • All participants will be provided with Working Lunch, tea/coffee with snacks at the venue of the Seminar.
  • No T.A./D.A. will be provided to the participants by the organizers of the Seminar. The participants are requested to make their own arrangements for travel.

Contact:
Anu B.
Phone: +91-9496321999

Ashish Jacob Mathew
Phone: +91-8943910233

Sachin Kumar P. P.
Phone: +91-9446059690

Keerthy V. S.
Phone: +91-9539167877

Magie V. Mathunny
Phone: +91-9496453919

Dr. Aneesh V. Pillai
Assistant Professor School of Legal Studies,
Cochin University of Science and Technology
Phone: +91-8606558242
Email: slsnationalseminar@gmail.com

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