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Dr S.A.C.M. Lavrijssen (1976) has been appointed Professor of Consumer and Energy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Dr S.A.C.M. Lavrijssen (1976) has been appointed Professor of Consumer and Energy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The protection of consumer interests plays a fundamental role in European and national legislation for energy market regulation. To this day, however, academic research and debate have failed to give due attention to the position of the consumer in that market. The Consumer and Energy chair has been designated to promote independent multidisciplinary research into the ways in which liberalisation, globalisation and climate change issues are impacting the position of household and business consumers in the energy market. The chair has been set up within the UvA’s Center for Energy Research and is made possible in part by participation from the Dutch consumers’ association (Consumentenbond), Dutch homeowners’ association (Vereniging Eigen Huis) and Dutch association for energy, the environment and water (Vereniging voor Energie, Milieu en Water, or VEMW).

Research

Saskia Lavrijssen is specialised in European law, competition law, economic regulation and good governance. The energy sector has been a prime focus of her research since 1999 and she has authored many national and international publications on supervision and regulation in the energy sector.

Among the issues she explores in her research are the protection of non-competition interests by national competition authorities and energy regulators, in which consumer interests play a major role. Another area of focus is the importance of regulator independence in the protection of those interests. Insights regarding consumer decision-making in the energy market, drawn from behavioural economics, and the associated implications for legislators and regulators are another key theme of Lavrijssen’s work.

Academic background

Lavrijssen has been a senior university lecturer of Economic Public Law at Utrecht University’s Europa Institute since 2007. Before that, she was a university lecturer in European Law at Tilburg University, as well as researcher and research coordinator at the Tilburg Law and Economics Center. In 2010 her article ‘What role for National Competition Authorities in protecting non-competition interests after Lisbon?’ appeared in the renowned journal European Law Review and was acclaimed with the Dutch law association’s (Vereniging voor Mededingingsrecht) award for the best paper dealing with public interests and competition law. Her expertise in the area of energy sector regulation has also helped earn Lavrijssen an appointment as deputy judge on the Dutch Administrative High Court for Trade and Industry (College van Beroep voor het Bedrijfsleven).