Des Voeux Chambers Oxford-HKU Visiting Fellowship
Chaired by The Honourable Mr Justice Jonathan Harris,
Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court
Date: 7 September 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 18:30 – 20:30 (Drinks reception will be held after the lecture)
Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower,
Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Humans as a Service? The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy
Dr Jeremias Prassl
Dr Jeremias Prassl
Uber, Didi, Deliveroo, Amazon’s MTurk, UpWork, TaskRabbit &co: On-demand work in the gig economy has had a profound impact on traditional conceptions of employment relationships. The completion of ‘tasks’, ‘gigs’ or ‘rides’ in the (digital) crowd fundamentally challenges our understanding of work in modern labour markets: gone are the stable employment relationships between firms and workers, replaced by a world in which everybody can be ‘their own boss’, enjoy the rewards – and face the risks – of independent businesses. Litigation between workers, customers, and platforms is on the rise all over the world, with many fundamental questions raised by gig economy work still lacking authoritative answers.
Dr Prassl’s talk will explore some of the key questions raised in his new book, Humans as a Service (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017): Is this the future of work? What are the benefits and challenges of working in the gig economy? And is platform work really fundamentally different from existing work arrangements, as many providers claim? Most importantly, how should the law respond and regulate on-demand economy work?
Dr Jeremias Prassl is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of Magdalen College, and Deputy Director of the Faculty’s Institute of European and Comparative Law. He read law at Oxford and Paris II (MA, DPhil) as well as Harvard Law School (LL.M.), and has held visiting positions at institutions including Columbia Law School, the Max Planck Institute Hamburg, UCL, WU Vienna, and Yale Law School. His principal research interests are in the fields of Employment Law, Corporate Law, and European Union Law (with a particular focus on Civil Aviation).
Justifying Damages: Corrective Justice, Civil Recourse, or Something Else
Dr Sandy Steel
Dr Sandy Steel
It has usually been thought that the breach of a primary tortious or contractual duty causing actionable harm gives rise immediately to a secondary duty to pay damages. Recently, this view has come under challenge: it has been argued that breach of such a primary duty gives rise only to a legal liability to pay damages. The liability view, as we can call it, is thought to pose a challenge to corrective justice theories of damages which claim that the justification of damages (sometimes) rests upon a secondary moral duty. In this lecture, Dr Steel offers some new arguments for the duty view, but suggests that, even if the legal liability view turns out to be correct, the moral duty of repair may still be crucial to justifying the existence of the liability. In doing so, Dr Steel suggests that the morality of self-defence helps to illuminate aspects of the law of damages.
Dr Sandy Steel is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford, and also a Fellow of Wadham College. He read law (BA, PhD) at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. From 2010-2014 he was a Lecturer in Law at King’s College London. He is interested in the English, French, and German law of obligations and in philosophical questions about that area of law. He has written mainly about torts. He also maintains an interest in general jurisprudence.
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