Mel Kenny (Dr.iur.)

Mel Kenny

Incoming Rector. Professor
Comparative Contract and Commercial Law. Competition Law and State Intervention
Tel.: +371 67039 201
Wallenberg Building, 5th floor

Dr. iur., Department of Law, Bremen University (Germany) (2001)
LL.M (Distinction), Law Faculty, Leicester University (UK) (1995)
LL.B Law Faculty, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) (1987)

Significant Professional Experience

  • Imcoming rector of Riga Graduate School of Law, (2016-)
  • Professor of EU law, Exeter University (UK) (2014-2016)
  • Professor of Consumer and Commercial law, De Montfort University (UK) (2012-2014)
  • Reader in Commercial law, Leicester University (UK) (2010-2012)
  • Senior Lecturer in EU law, University of Leeds (UK) (2008-2010)
  • Lecturer in Competition law, Durham University (UK) (2007-2008)
  • Marie Curie Fellow, Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP), University of Bremen (Germany) (2005-2007)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Research Fellow, Lucerne University (Switzerland) (2001-2005)

Current research interests

  • Consumer law: EU Commission 2016  Fitness check of consumer law (UK country report together with Prof James Devenney, UCD, Ireland)
  • Brexit: ‘The UK and the EU: The Whinge in the willows?’ Inaugural lecture Auckland University of Technology, Centre of Private law, 14 April 2016
  • Competition and Consumer Law: ‘The Consumer Rights Act 2015: getting the balance right between competition and consumer law?’, City University of Hong Kong, 7 April 2016
  • Harmonising Transnational commercial law: ‘Challenges for the Harmonisation of Transnational Commercial Law: Unfair Terms, Consumers, Suretyships and EU Harmonisation as a Case Study’ ASEAN scoping exercise: Singapore Management University (SMU), 16 February 2015 (with Prof. James Devenney)
  • Unfair terms in banking: ‘The Fragility of Unfair Terms Law in the Context of Bank Charges: Towards a Complex Re-Litigation in the UK?’ T C Bierne School of Law, University of Queensland, Australian Centre for Private Law, Brisbane, 8 July 2013
  • Europeanisation of Unfair Contract terms law: ‘The Law Commissions' 2012 Issues Paper and the variable geometry of 'Europeanised' unfair contract terms law’ 14th conference of the International Association of Consumer Law, Sydney Law School, 2 July 2013;
  • Private International law and Globalisation: ‘The EU 'optional instrument': bypassing private international law?, International Workshop: ‘Private International Law in the Context of Globalization: Opportunities and Challenges’ Chinese Society of Private International Law, Chinese Society of Private International law and China University of Politics and Law, Beijing; 23 October 2011.


1.    ‘The Transformation of Public and Private EC Competition law’, (Stämpfli, Berne,  2002) (320 Pages). [ISBN:3727299835].

Edited Books:

1.      ‘The Transformation of European Private law: consolidation, codification or chaos?’,(CUP 2013) (420 pages) co-edited with James Devenney [Pending ISBN].

2.      ‘European Consumer Protection: Theory and Practice’, (CUP, 2012) (462 pages) co-edited with James Devenney [ISBN:9781107013018].

3.      ‘Consumer Credit, Debt and Investment’, (CUP, 2012) (330 pages) co-edited with James Devenney [ISBN: 9781107013025].

4.      ‘Unconscionability in European Private Financial Transactions: Protecting the Vulnerable’(CUP, 2010) (420 pages) co-edited with James Devenney & Lorna Fox O’Mahony [ISBN-13: 9780521190534].

Articles in refereed journals:

1.       ‘The Omission of Personal Property from the Proposed CESL: The Hamlet Syndrome...Without the Prince?’ [2015] Journal of Business Law 607-619.

2.      ‘The Law Commission’s 2012 Issues Paper on Unfair Terms: subverting the “Europeanised” law on Unfair Terms?[2013] 21(3) European Review of Private law 871-892.

3.      ‘Options between Legislative Intervention and Judicial Collaboration: improving the effectiveness and coherence of EU law?’[2012]63(4) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 435-448.

4.      ‘Orchestrating sub-prime consumer protection in retail banking: Abbey National in the context of Europeanised Private law’ [2011] 19(1) European Review of Private law 45-70. Cited: Law Commission 2012 Report: Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts.

5.      ‘The EU Optional instrument: Absorbing the Private International Law Implications of a Common European Sales Law.’ [2011] Yearbook of Private International Law (Vol. XIII) 315-344 (with Lorna Gillies & James Devenney).

6.      ‘Unfair Terms, Surety Transactions and European Harmonisation: a Crucible of Europeanised Private Law?’ [2009] Conveyancer & Property Lawyer 295-308 (with James Devenney).

7.      ‘Standing Surety in England and Wales: the sphinx of procedural protection’ [2008] Lloyds Maritime and Commercial law Quarterly 513-536 (with Lorna Fox O’Mahony & James Devenney).

8.      ‘Standing Surety in Europe: Common Core or Tower of Babel?’ [2007] 70(2) Modern Law Review, 175-196.

9.      ‘The 2007 Green Paper on the Consumer Acquis: deliberate deliberation? [2007] 32 European Law Review 740-751 (with Bettina Heiderhoff).

10.  ‘Constructing a European Civil Code: Quis Custodiet ipsos Custodes?’ [2006] 12(3) Columbia Journal of European Law 775-808.

11.  ‘The 2004 Communication on European Contract Law: those magnificent men in their unifying machines’, [2005] 30 European Law Review 724-742.

12.  ‚Evaluierung der 2004er Kommissionsmitteilung zum Europäischen Vertragsrecht, [2005] Aktuelle Juristiche Praxis 288-294.

13.  ‚Plan działania w zakresie europejskiego prawa umów: Czy Komisja na pewno miała rację?‘ [2005] Kwartalnik Prawa Prywatnego 259-276. (Translation/A. Jurkowska).

14.  ‘The 2003 Action Plan on European Contract Law: is the Commission running wild? [2003] 28 European Law Review 538-550.

15.  ‚Startet die Kommission jetzt durch? Die Zukunft des Europäischen Vertragsrechts im Lichte des Aktionsplans 2003‘, [2003] Aktuelle Juristische Praxis 1169-1178.

16.  ‘Globalization, Interlegality and Europeanized Contract law’ [2003] 21 Pennsylvania State Int’l Law Review 568-620.


1.      ‘The regulation of unfair terms in non- professional suretyship agreements Lessons for the wider European Union harmonisation agenda’, Devenney and Kenny, Ch 12 in Fairweather and O’Shea (eds.) ‘Credit Consumers and the Law’ (Ashgate, 2016) [ISBN Pending].

2.      ‘The Fragility of Unfair Terms Law on Bank Charges: towards a complex re-litigation in the UK?’, Kenny and Devenney, Ch 11 in Fairweather and O’Shea (eds.) ‘Credit Consumers and the Law’ (Ashgate, 2016) [ISBN Pending].

3.      '(D)CFR Initiative and Consumer Unfair Terms' (Chapter 15, 366-382) in DiMatteo et al. (eds.) ‘Commercial Contract Law: A Transatlantic Perspective’ (CUP, 2013). [ISBN:139781107028081].

4.      ’Unfair Terms and the Draft Common Frame of Reference: the role of non-legislative harmonization and administrative cooperation,‘ (Chapter 7, 99-120) (with James Devenney) in Devenney & Kenny (eds.), ‘European Consumer Protection: Theory and Practice’, (CUP, 2012). [ISBN:9781107013018].

5.      ‘European Consumer Protection: theory and practice,’ (Chapter 22, 437-449) (with James Devenney) in Devenney & Kenny (eds.), ‘European Consumer Protection: Theory and Practice’, (CUP, 2012). [ISBN:9781107013018].

6.      ‘A Comparative Analysis of Bank Charges in Europe: OFT v Abbey National plc Through the Looking Glass.’ (Chapter 10, 212-233) (with James Devenney) in Devenney & Kenny (eds.) ‘Consumer Credit, Debt and Investment in Europe’, (CUP 2012), [ISBN:9781107013025].

7.      ‘Consumer Credit, Debt and Investment in Europe’ (Chapter 14, 306-315) (with James Devenney) in Devenney & Kenny (eds.) ‘Consumer Credit, Debt and Investment in Europe’, (CUP 2012), [ISBN:9781107013025].

8.      ‘The Fallacy of the Common Core: Polycontextualism in Surety Protection – a ‘Hard Case’ in Harmonisation Discourse’, (Chapter 13) (with James Devenney) in M. Andenæs & C. Andersen (eds.), ‘Theory & Practice of Harmonisation’, (Edward Elgar, 2012),[ISBN:9781849800013].

9.      ‘Conceptualising Unconscionability in Europe: in the Kaleidoscope of Private and Public Law’, (Chapter 19, 377-399) (with James Devenney & Lorna Fox-O’Mahony) in Kenny, Devenney & Fox O’Mahony (eds.), ‘Unconscionability in ‘European Private Financial Transactions: Protecting the Vulnerable’, (CUP, 2010). [ISBN: 9780521190534].

10.  ‘England and Wales: Proceduralism, Formalism and the Protection of Sureties in England and Wales,’ (Chapter 7, 141-178) (with James Devenney & Lorna Fox O’Mahony) in Weatherill & Colombi Ciacchi (eds.), ‘Regulating Unfair Banking Practices in Europe’, (OUP, 2010) [ISBN:9780199594559].

11.  ‘The Protection of Non-Professional Sureties in Europe: the uncommon core of European Private Law?’ in Colombi Ciacchi (ed.), ‘Protection of Non-Professional Sureties in Europe: Formal and Substantive Disparity’,(Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2007) [ISBN:9783832930424].

12.  ‘The 2005 Progress Report on European Contract law: towards a Civil Code?’ in (Mizaras (ed.)), ‘Trends and Perspectives in the development of Contemporary Civil law’, (Justitia, Vilnius, 2007)).

13.  ‚Der Igel und der Fuchs: Die engen Parameter des Ius Commune Ansatzes’, (99-120) in (Tietze & McGuire et al (Hrsg.)), Europäisches Privatrecht – über die Verknüpfung von nationalem und Gemeinschaftsrecht, Jb.J.ZivRWiss. 2004, (Boorberg, Stuttgart, 2005) [ISBN:3415035735].