Professor Civil Law / Head of department
Vanessa Mak has been a professor of Civil law at the Institute for Private law since 1 October 2020.
Vanessa Mak holds a chair in Civil law at Leiden University. From 2008 she was affiliated with Tilburg University, where she was appointed Professor of Dutch and European Contract Law in 2014. From 2017-2020 she was Vice-Dean for Research at Tilburg Law School. She had previously worked as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht in Hamburg and as a lecturer at Oriel College, Oxford. She obtained her PhD at the University of Oxford in 2006 following comparative research on performance-oriented remedies in European Sale of Goods Law.
Vanessa’s research focuses on lawmaking in European private law, particularly in the area of contract law. Key questions are: who makes the rules to facilitate transactions between companies and consumers? What level of legislation, national or European, is the most appropriate in certain cases? And how can rules under public law be aligned with private regulation? These questions are examined in more detail in relation to consumer markets in Europe. Specific focus areas are the regulation of the platform economy, issues concerning regulation with regard to data and technology, and financial services provided to consumers. Vanessa Mak has published widely on these topics in leading national and international journals. Her monograph entitled Legal Pluralism in European Contract Law (OUP 2020) was published in 2020.
Vanessa Mak regularly provides expert advice to national and European institutions. She is also a member of the editorial staff of the Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht en handelspraktijken (TvC) and the Journal of European Consumer and Market Law (EuCML). At Leiden University, she teaches in the bachelor and master programmes in law.
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