Adhesion Contracts and the Twenty First Century Consumer

86 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2009

See all articles by Leon Trakman

Leon Trakman

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 21, 2007

Abstract

Ecommerce has transformed the law of contract. Consumers are increasingly subject to myriads of conditions in shrink-wrap, box-wrap, click-wrap and browse-wrap contracts. Opening software wrapping or clicking "I agree" in a dialog box on a computer subjects the user to a series of onerous conditions that restrict end use and limit the supplier's liability.

These developments are counterbalance by the growth of new market-savvy classes of consumers who are willing and able to sue brand name producers in class and other actions.

Faced with these Twenty First Century developments, courts struggle to find middle ground between regulating mass transactions in fairness to consumers and facilitating free commerce.

Analyzing adhesion contracts in light of the evolving law of unconscionability, this article proposes ways in which to regulate mass transactions while preserving a liberty of contract that is essential to a liberal democracy.

Keywords: Contracts

Suggested Citation

Trakman, Leon, Adhesion Contracts and the Twenty First Century Consumer (November 21, 2007). UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2007-67, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1366567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1366567

Leon Trakman (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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