Linlan Huang

PhD Candidate, SOAS University of London

Protecting Audiences from Product Placements in Audiovisual Contents: A Comparative Study between EU, UK and US Law

Product placement brings not only opportunities for the advertising industry, but also threats to audiences’ rights. Like ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, the development of product placement contains unique values despite it is widely believed as a symbol of over-commercialisation in the media industry. To enjoy the benefits and advert negative effects of product placements, international norms offer constructive recommendations for countries to follow. However, the state practices of regulating product placement are not entirely satisfactory, and the international standards also require updates in many senses.

The paper conducts qualitative case studies by comparing the statutory and case law under the umbrella of EU, UK and US. In particular, the study refers to the most recent updates of AVMSD, US federal law, Ofcom regulations and guidelines to fill the research gap in this field. The aim of the paper is to identify challenges or setbacks of regulating product placement in the audio-visual media sector. The paper may also suggest how to amend the law or interpret the law more broadly in the field.

Through comparative studies, the paper argues that jurisdictions such as the US, fall behind universal standards in relevant fields, whilst the EU and Britain outshine them. The thesis, therefore, believes that the US may conform with international criteria while learning from the relatively successful experience of EU and UK.


Aygun Mammadzada

PhD Candidate, University of Southampton

Substantive Validity Of Choice Of Court Agreements under The Hague Convention 2005 On Choice Of Court Agreements

The Hague Conference on Private International Law has been continuously working for progressive unification of private international law rules and cross-border cooperation in civil and commercial matters. Along with other significant legal tools, the Conference has achieved the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements which established widespread global respect for party autonomy and resolution of disputes.

This study examines effectiveness of the Hague Choice of Court Convention 2005 in ensuring party autonomy and legal certainty while reflecting its provisions on validity of exclusive jurisdiction agreements.

In the paper, I will firstly outline background of the Convention and give a recap of the long negotiations leading to the final text. I will determine objectives of this multilateral legal framework particularly focussing on exclusive jurisdiction agreements. This will bring the substantial part of the paper where I will critically assess efficiency of the rules regulating formal and substantive validity of choice of court agreements. On the one hand, extended scope of the Convention, its substantive validity rules alongside the provisions on formal validity, especially severability rule will be embraced. Relevant to this discussion, comparisons with the New York Arbitration Convention and Brussels Regime will be made and special attention will be drawn to the implementation of the validity rules of the Convention by the Brussels Recast Regulation. On the other hand, it will be argued that notwithstanding the Conference aimed at a harmonised substantive validity rule, the instrument still lacks uniformity which might result in parallel proceedings, inconsistent judgements and indeed, ever growing uncertainties. Following on this line, the paper will seek to suggest several ways to prevent possible risks and stimulate a discourse about uniform validity rules.