Private law, University of Amsterdam, Netherland

Pays Bas

de janvier à juin 2015


Lyn TJON SOEI LEN’s current research interests evolved from her early concerns for issues of justice and law and the role that private (including corporate) conduct plays in pursuit of global justice.

After a first year legal studies at the University of Amsterdam, Lyn TJON SOEI LEN embarked on her study of International Business Administration (IBA) at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam where she explored her interests in the role that corporations can play in advancing sustainable and socially responsible global cooperation and human development. While simultaneously pursuing questions of law (at the University of Amsterdam) and corporate conduct (at the Erasmus University Rotterdam), she realized that her interest in fundamental questions of justice and the role of the State increased over the more practical questions entailed in the study of IBA. From there her focus on private law theory evolved; first exploring the moral responsibility of corporate persons in her master thesis in the department of jurisprudence, and then in her doctoral thesis on “The Effects of Contracts Beyond Frontiers. A Capabilities Perspective on Externalities and Contract Law in Europe” at the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law.

Search project

Consuming Contested Commodities. Rethinking Legal Protection for Vulnerable Market Participants

Although there are important disagreements about what ‘commodities’ ought to occupy its domain, most people agree that some things should not be bought and sold for money (i.e. contested exchange). In part, consensus arises out of a shared concern for the ways in which vulnerable market participants are at risk of alienating/selling something that (1) should only be exchanged under background conditions of equality and substantive freedom, or (2) should not be exchanged at all, because of the corruptive effect of money for the meaning or value of particular goods. In the realm of private law we are prominently concerned with the vulnerability of consumers. Categorical consumer protection presents a quandary in relation to contested exchanges and is particularly counterintuitive with respect to exchanges that are contested, in part, because of the vulnerability of participants on the supply side of the market. This research project explores this tension through a case-based method concerning the provision of sexual services; a case in which the application of mandatory consumer protection would exacerbate, rather than abate, vulnerability of the sort described above. This project aims to address part of the broader, more fundamental question to whom, if anyone, should a society offer legal protection when engaging in market exchange?