Responsive Regulation and Comparative Consumer Product Safety

28 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2011 Last revised: 30 Mar 2011

See all articles by Luke R. Nottage

Luke R. Nottage

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law; The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law; University of Wollongong

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

Nottage, Luke R., Responsive Regulation and Comparative Consumer Product Safety (January 31, 2011). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/06, Available at SSRN:

Luke R. Nottage (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Room 640, Building F10, Eastern Avenue
Sydney, NSW 2006

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522

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