Welfare, privatization and liability – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

English > Research > Framework research projects > Welfare, privatization...

Public services, privatization, and the responsibility and liability of private and public actors

In recent years, public authorities have been subject to demands for increased efficiency and professionalism. This has led to an increased use of private actors in the public sector.

The market-orientation entails that private parties become providers of central services in society that have traditionally been the responsibility of the public sector. Examples vary in different legal systems but may include healthcare services, long term care services and services that provide safety and security at large. Privatisation tendencies can also be observed in the housing market and in the financial sector. Even in the adjudication system the use of private actors is a common phenomenon.

The increased use of private parties as providers of public services raises the question of the responsibility and liability of these private service providers, driven by commercial incentives rather than public interests. The development also raises the question of the responsibilities and liabilities in the public sector of a widely privatised state.  

Participants in the project


Participants:

  • The project is led by: Professor Vibe Ulfbeck
  • Professor Vibe Ulfbeck (contract law and tort law)
  • Professor Steen Treumer, (public procurement)
  • Professor Ole Hansen (contract law)
  • Professor Ulrik Rammeskow Bang-Pedersen (insolvency law),
  • Associate Professor Anders Møllmann (maritime law),
  • Associate professor Silvia Adamo (integration contracts),
  • Assistant professor Sylvie Cavaleri (commercial arbitration),
  • Assistant professor Marta Andrecka (public procurement law)
  • Post doc. Alexandra Horváthová (PMCS contracts),
  • Post doc., Catalin Stanescu (private debt collection)
  • PhD fellow Christoffer Tais Eklund (Investor advisor liability)
  • PhD fellow Emilie Katrine Friis (Liability for ancillary advisory services)

Subproject 1: Private actors as providers of classical welfare services

This subproject focuses on private actors as providers of classical welfare services such as long term care, health care, educational services and the provision of universal services such as water and energy. The use of private actors in these different sectors has increased markedly over the last decades. Different “models” are applied for the provision of private services, ranging from contracting out, over the application of public “vouchers” for citizens to buy specific services, to asset privatisation. The tendency to marketization is also reflected in the use of contracts as a tool in the administrative sector, sometimes as an alternative to administrative acts. The project addresses various legal questions that this development gives rise to with a focus in particular on private law issues including liability issues. One of the basic questions is to what extent private law can absorb public law values such as legitimacy, equality and accountability.

Publications:

Juristen TEMANUMMER, 2016: Udlicitering af velfærdsydelser:

Ole Hansen, Strategier for længerevarende kontrakter om udlicitering af kommunal service – privatisering eller offentlig kontrol?, Juristen, 2016, s. 51

Steen Treumer, Overdragelse af kontrakter om omsorgsydelser omfattet af EU’s udbudsregler efter konkurs, Juristen, 2016, s. 66

Ulrik Rammeskow Bang-Pedersen, Udliciterng af peljeydelser: Kommunens muligheder og risiko hvis den private plejevirksomhed bliver insolvent, Juristen , 2016, s. 75

Vibe Ulfbeck, Ansvar over for borgeren når private aktører leverer velfærdsydelser – Markedsgørelse eller ligebehandling?, juristen, 2016, s. 86

Kent Kristensen og Karsten Naundrup Olesen
Sundhedsordninger og erstatning, Ugeskrift for Retsvæsen, nr. 16, 19. april 2014, s. 139-148

Karsten Naundrup Olesen
Eksport af velfærd, Juristen, Vol. 2014, Nr. 2, 06.06.2014, s. 82-94

Karsten Naundrup Olesen
Offentlige servicekontrakter og håndtering af ændrede lovkrav, i Ole Hansen (red.): Ændringsregler i længerevarende kontrakter, Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, København 2014, s. 191-214.

Peter Rott
Liberalisation and protection of vulnerable customers in services of general interest, 2011 Europaraettslig Tidskrift , vol 14, nr. 3, s. 483-502

Steen Treumer
Regulation of Contract Changes Leading to a duty to Retender in the New EU Public Procurement Directive, i Ole Hansen (red.): Ændringsregler i længerevarende kontrakter, Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, København 2014, s. 165-189.

Vibe Ulfbeck, Mette Hartlev, Mårten Schultz
Malpractice in Scandinavia, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 87, Number 1, 2012, p. 111-129

Vibe Ulfbeck
Offentlige myndigheders erstatningsansvar: Sondringen mellem det privatretlige og det offentligretlige ansvar, Tidsskrift for retsvidenskab, Vol. 126, Nr. 4-5, 2013, s. 598-608

Vibe Ulfbeck
Kommunalt erstatningsansvar for mangelfuld specialundervisning, Juristen 6, 2010, s.266-270.

Mette Hartlev
Forwards or Backwards? New Directions in Danish Patients' Rights Legislation, 2011, European Journal of Health Law, vol 18, nr. 4, s. 365-374

Marie-Louise Holle
Hæftelse for selvstændigt virkende tredjemand med særlig henblik på offentlige myndigheder (PhD afhandling, 2013)

Subproject 2: Private actors as providers of security services

The provision of security is normally seen as a core task for the state. Nevertheless, private actors are to an increasing extent deployed as security providers in society. Private service providers are used in civil society in a variety of different contexts, sometimes contracted by other private parties, sometimes by public institutions for specific purposes, and in some countries private service providers are contracted by the state to perform police tasks. Private service providers are also used to carry out military tasks (PMSC). The project focuses on the use of private actors in the security sector and related issues of responsibility and liability.

Subproject 3: Private/public interplay in the financial market

This subproject focuses on the private /public interplay in the financial market. Over the years, there has been a general tendency to encourage private parties to finance their own welfare, including such basic needs as housing and pensions, through consumer credits. This development raises the question how to ensure transparency and accountability in the financial markets and how to protect vulnerable parties from ending up overindebted.

Publications:

Irina Domurath, Protection from over-indebtedness in EU mortgage law (PhD thesis, stencil), 2016

Vibe Ulfbeck, Civil liability of Creedit Rating Agencies – A professional liability regime? In Jan Kleineman, Lars Gorton and Aron Verständig (eds.), Perspectives on Credit Rating Agencies.

Christoffer Tais Eklund, Investor advisor liability (PhD project, ongoing)

Emilie Katrine Friis, Liability for ancillary advisory services (PhD project, ongoing) 

Subproject 4: Civil justice and the role of private actors

It is an important purpose of the civil justice system to accommodate the needs of individuals, businesses and groups for resolution of specific disputes and protection of their legal interests. In modern societies, it can be regarded as a central welfare service to provide such access to justice and swift enforcement of rights. In many countries, this welfare service is eventually provided through a public court system and other public bodies for dispute resolution and law enforcement. However, private actors can also play a significant role in this regard, including as arbitrators and mediators and as private complaints boards and tribunals. In recent decades, many countries have witnessed a growth of private for-profit institutions that provide arbitration and mediation as a service. Private actors have also come to play a key role in dispute resolution and law enforcement in the digital environment, consumer protection and non-judicial debt-collection.

This research projects explores legal problems related to this role of private actors in modern civil justice systems. It focuses in particular on the following topics: 1) The interplay between public and private resolution mechanisms, 2) Dispute resolution and law enforcement in the digital environment – the role of private actors, 3) The role of NGOs in enforcing CSR policies in civil litigation (postdoc project, ongoing), 4) Private (non-judicial) debt collection (postdoc project, ongoing)

Publications:

The interplay between public and private dispute resolution mechanisms

Sylvie Cécile Cavaleri, International Construction Disputes in Denmark, International Construction Law Review, Volume 33, Part 1, January 2016, p. 39-65 and Internationale tvister i VBA: utopi eller realitet?, Tidsskrift for Bolig- og Byggeret, No. 3/2016, p. 459-469

Toms Krumins, The interaction between international commercial arbitration and court litigation: court involvement and parallel processes (PhD project, ongoing)

Catalin Stanescu & Asress Adimi Gikay, Are Abusive Debt Collection Practices Arbitrable? Questions and Answers from the US and the EU (ongoing)

Clement Salung Petersen & Vibe Ulfbeck: Litigation and arbitration in Greenland and dispute resolution under the Greenlandic standard licenses in: Vibe Ulfbeck; Anders Møllmann; Bent Ole Gram Mortensen (eds.), Responsibilities and Liabilities for Commercial Activity in the Arctic: The example of Greenland. Routledge, 2016. p. 203-215.

Sylvie Cavaleri, International Construction Disputes in Denmark, [2016] ICLR (The International Construction Law Review), 29-65.

Sylvie Cavaleri, Internationale tvister i VBA: utopi eller realitet, T:BB 2016.459-469.

Andreas Ehlers: Blaming the unblameable? On the liability of mediators, Nordic Journal of Commercial Law, 2014, Issue 1, pp. 1-33

Clement Salung Petersen: Procesretlige aspekter af genforhandlingsklausuler, UfR 2013 B, 35-44.

Dispute resolution and law enforcement in the digital environment – the role of private actors

Clement Salung Petersen, Netværksoperatørernes rolle i bekæmpelsen af ophavsretskrænkelser på internettet, Nordiskt Immateriellt Rättskydd 1/2009, pp. 21-43

Søren Sandfeld Jakobsen & Clement Salung Petersen: Injunctions against mere conduit of information protected by copyright – a Scandinavian perspective, International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 2011, pp. 151-181

Clement Salung Petersen: Bemærkninger til Kulturministeriets ”Rapport fra udvalget om ophavsrettigheder på internettet”, UfR 2011 B, 283-289.

Clement Salung Petersen: Internet service providers and copyright in the Nordic countries, NIR 2015(6) 642-651.

Clement Salung Petersen & Thomas Riis: Private Law Enforcement on Internet Platforms: Notice and Action Procedures, in: Thomas Riis (ed.), User-Generated Law, Routledge 2015.

Selected publications

M. Andrecka, “Dealing With Legal Loopholes and Uncertainties Within EU Public Procurement Law Regarding Framework Agreements”, Journal of Public Procurement, Vol 16, No 4, winter, 2016

M. Andrecka, “Clarification or Missed Opportunity? The Provisions on Framework Agreements in the 2014 Directive” in G. Skovgaard Ølykke and A. Sanchez-Graells (eds) Reformation or Deformation? -- Who played the negotiating game better in the 2014 Reform of the EU Public Procurement Rules: the CJEU as umpire (Edward Elgar 2016)

Ole Hansen, Strategier for længerevarende kontrakter om udlicitering af kommunal service – privatisering eller offentlig kontrol?, Juristen, 2016, s. 51

Steen Treumer, Overdragelse af kontrakter om omsorgsydelser omfattet af EU’s udbudsregler efter konkurs, Juristen, 2016, s. 66

Ulrik Rammeskow Bang-Pedersen, Udliciterng af peljeydelser: Kommunens muligheder og risiko hvis den private plejevirksomhed bliver insolvent, Juristen , 2016, s. 75

Vibe Ulfbeck, Ansvar over for borgeren når private aktører leverer velfærdsydelser – Markedsgørelse eller ligebehandling?, juristen, 2016, s. 86

Irina Domurath, protection from over-indebtedness in EU mortgage law (PhD thesis, stencil), 2016

Clement Salung Petersen & Vibe Ulfbeck: ‘Litigation and arbitration in Greenland and dispute resolution under the Greenlandic standard licenses’ in: Vibe Ulfbeck; Anders Møllmann; Bent Ole Gram Mortensen (eds.), ‘Responsibilities and Liabilities for Commercial Activity in the Arctic: The example of Greenland’. Routledge, 2016. p. 203-215.

Sylvie Cavaleri, International Construction Disputes in Denmark, [2016] ICLR (The International Construction Law Review), 29-65.

International collaboration and networks

On this project, CEVIA collaborates with Nordic researchers, in particular researchers at the University of Linkjøbing, Sweden, but also other European researchers.

Project related courses

CEVIA offers various courses that built on are related to this project. As examples could be mentioned the following:

Master law course on public procurement law (in Danish)

Master law course on public procurement law (in English)

Bachelor law course on the law of privatisation (In Danish (Privatiseringsret))

For further information see the Faculty website