Consumer rights of digital era discussed with Airbnb and Paypal as examples

Airbnb, PayPal and Bitcoin are only some of the most common examples of where today’s market is headed. The current market is built on new platform-based contracts, the use of which raises questions regarding the finalisation of the contracts and consumer rights.

UT Professor of Civil Law Irene Kull gave an example: “Many of us book accommodation online via Airbnb and pay for goods using PayPal, but we do not think about with whom we are actually signing the contract and who protects our rights when we twist our ankle on the hotel stairs or my money does not reach the seller.”

It is the same with online shopping. There are less and less people who read the terms of the contract. People’s aim is to choose a product and click “accept” to receive their goods as quickly as possible, without giving any thought to with whom the contract is signed and who is responsible and who protects the consumer’s rights.

Estonia as an e-country and the University of Tartu as the leading university in the field were chosen by an international legal society to organise a top conference on a topical subject—digital contracts. The conference European Contract Law in the Digital Age will take place on 17 and 18 June in Tartu, where the best experts of contract law discuss the platforms of market building.

“The best experts of modern contract law will be present at the conference in Tartu but there is no fear that the discussion will remain very scientific. Consumer contracts affect as all,” said Kull, who is one of the organisers of the conference, and added that among the guests is Andrus Ansip, who will talk about the plans to renew the European digital market.

Performers also include Hugh Collins (University of Oxford), Roger Bronsword (London School of Economics), Gerald Spindler (University of Göttingen), Stefan Grundmann (European University Institute) and Vanessa Mak (Tilburg University).

UT School of Law organises the conference in cooperation with the Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA). SECOLA is an organisation which brings together academics and practitioners of private law and has over 300 members. Each year the society organises an international conference on a topical subject. This year, Estonia as an e-country and UT as a leading university of the field were chosen.

The conference takes place at the Dorpat Conference Centre. The conference expects practitioners and academics of law and those interested in the subject. The presentations are in English without a translation. The participation fee is 50 euros, for students and doctoral students it is 10 euros. Information about the programme and speakers is available at

Additional information:
Irene Kull, UT Professor of Civil Law,
+372 502 2342

Virge Tamme Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
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