The Degree of Harmonisation in the Proposed Consumer Rights Directive: A Review in Light of Liability for Products
MODERNISING AND HARMONISING CONSUMER CONTRACT LAW, Geraint Howells and Reiner Schulze, eds., pp. 307-324, Sellier, München, 2009
20 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2009 Last revised: 27 Mar 2009
Date Written: March, 12 2009
This paper takes stance with the European Commission's proposal to aim for full, or maximum harmonisation in relation to the rules laid down in the proposed Consumer Rights Directive (published October 2008). To what extent should European law seek to lay down a fixed set of rules for consumer law to which the Member States are unable to make modifications to fit their own systems? And, an important preliminary point, to what extent can it fix such a standard? Three factors in particular, it is argued, define the debate: scope, coherence and (the standard of) consumer protection. Arguably, each of these factors can be linked to one important omission from the Commission's review of consumer law, both in the earlier Green Paper and in the current proposal: the Product Liability Directive. In particular the potential overlap with certain issues covered by the sales part of the Proposal would have justified the inclusion of this Directive in the review.
Keywords: Maximum harmonisation, Consumer law, European private law, Product liability
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