Mandatory Consumer Law, Ex Officio Application of European Union Law and Res Judicata: From Océano to Asturcom
18 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 15, 2010
In Océano, followed by the rulings in Cofidis, Mostaza Claro, Rampion and Pannon, the ECJ held that national courts must abandon their judicially passive role to ensure ex officio that consumer rights are sufficiently protected. In the Asturcom case, the Court had to decide whether a national court hearing an action for enforcement of a final arbitration award has to determine of its own motion the possible unfairness of an arbitration clause, if the arbitration award became final and acquired the force of res judicata. This article analyses ECJ consumer case law leading up to the decision in Asturcom. It also examines the implications of this ruling on national procedural law in greater detail. It is argued that the ECJ, in developing an autonomous concept of public policy, introduced EU standards with far reaching impacts on the principle of res judicata in consumer arbitration. Given this, the manifold implications of the Asturcom case on consumer arbitration law in particular and civil procedures in general are examined.
Keywords: Consumer Law, European Private Law, Civil Procedures, Arbitration
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