Responsive Regulation and Comparative Consumer Product Safety
28 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2011 Last revised: 30 Mar 2011
Date Written: January 31, 2011
This paper, an edited and footnoted transcript of a presentation at a research Centre of Excellence at Hokkaido University, looks at the influence of “responsive regulation” theory on the large-scale “Australian Consumer Law” reforms enacted in 2010. It outlines some frameworks developed for a chapter on “Product Safety Regulation” in the Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law (Elgar, 2010), considering ways in which the government (primarily through public regulation), courts (primarily through product liability law) and markets can create incentives to supply safe consumer goods. These frameworks also permit better cross-jurisdictional comparisons, with this paper highlighting major developments also in Japan, Europe, the United States, and international trade law. The paper ends by highlighting implications for other areas of contemporary consumer law, especially consumer credit. As in many countries nowadays regarding consumer goods, including belatedly Australia, responsive regulation theory suggests that there should be scope to add a duty on suppliers of credit to disclose serious problems or risks afflicting their consumer borrowers.
Keywords: Comparative Law, Asian Law, Commonwealth Law, International Trade Law, Consumer Law, Product Safety, Consumer Credit, Contract Law
JEL Classification: K10, K12, K13, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation