Fundamental Rights and the European Regulation of iConsumer Contracts
21 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2008 Last revised: 25 May 2014
Date Written: June 19, 2008
This paper addresses the question of how fundamental rights affect European legislation and adjudication on contracts regarding digital information services (iConsumer contracts). Fundamental rights may be seen as representing political choices for the protection of certain values in society, but at the same time they are enacted rules of the legal system, which may be invoked to enforce the protection of the interests they represent. It is submitted that because of this double-faced nature, they can bring to the fore policy issues in contract legislation and case law. Fundamental rights can thus play a role in determining the policy choices that have to be made in the ongoing review of the acquis communautaire in the field of consumer law. For iConsumer contracts, that means that the rights of consumers, authors and suppliers of copyright protected content affect the choice of rule-solutions on the European legislative level. Furthermore, these rights have an impact on the case law of the European Court of Justice in the field of e-commerce. Fundamental rights help define the various rule-solutions the Court can choose from and thus demarcate the law-making capacity of the judiciary.
Keywords: consumer law, European Union, fundamental rights, e-commerce
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