Jeremias Prassl wins the St Petersburg International Legal Forum Private Law Prize

Jeremias Prassl (Associate Professor of Law) was last night awarded the prestigious St Petersburg International Legal Forum Private Law Prize for his book 'Humans as a Service' (OUP 2018).  His book was selected from a shortlist of six by authors from across the globe.  The Chairman of the Government of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, presented the award. 

Humans as a Service book cover

Jeremias Prassl expressed his gratitude to the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation and noted how important it is to develop the legal sciences.

Private law plays an important role in creating better life for everybody.

About the book

What if your boss was an algorithm?

The gig economy promises to revolutionise work as we know it, offering flexibility and independence instead of 9-to-5 drudgery. The potential benefits are enormous: consumers enjoy the convenience and affordability of on-demand work while micro-entrepreneurs turn to online platforms in search of their next gig, task, or ride.

Is this the future of work?

This book offers an engaging account of work in the gig economy across the world. Competing narratives abound: on-demand gigs offer entrepreneurial flexibility – or precarious work, strictly controlled by user ratings and algorithmic surveillance. Platforms’ sophisticated technology is the product of disruptive innovation – whilst the underlying business model has existed for centuries.

How can we protect consumers and workers without stifling innovation?

As courts and governments around the world begin to grapple with the gig economy, 'Humans as a Service' explores the challenges of on-demand work, and explains how we can ensure decent working conditions, protect consumers, and foster innovation. Employment law plays a central role in levelling the playing field: gigs, tasks, and rides are work – and should be regulated as such.

About the Prize

The conferral of this truly global academic award is intended as a testimony of its winner’s ultimate academic excellence, while the cash prize component is meant to advance the realization of the laureate’s ideas of worldwide significance.

Unparalleled in the intellectual depth of its contending papers, the authority of its Expert Committee, and the size of the cash reward offered, the SPBILF Private Law Prize has all the makings of becoming to the international community of legal professionals as prestigious as the Nobel Prize.