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Towards a Revision of the Consumer-Acquis

41 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011  

Horst Eidenmueller

University of Oxford; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Florian Faust

Independent

Hans Christoph Grigoleit

Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich - Faculty of Law

Nils Jansen

University of Muenster

Gerhard Wagner

Humboldt University School of Law; Erasmus School of Law; University of Chicago Law School

Reinhard Zimmermann

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Date Written: April 12, 2011

Abstract

When the European Commission initiated the Common Frame of Reference process, it aimed, in particular, at a revision of the acquis communautaire in the field of consumer contract law. However, such revision has not, to date, been undertaken. The Draft Common Frame of Reference is marked by a largely uncritical attitude vis-à-vis the acquis. The same will be true, it must be feared, for the ‘optional instrument’ to be developed by an ‘expert group’ on that basis by mid-2011. The Proposal for a ‘horizontal’ Directive on Consumer Rights submitted by the Commission in October 2008 also did not benefit from a critical revision of the acquis. The authors of the present paper have attempted to remedy this deficiency by an investigation of the key issues involved: the proper scope and effectiveness of mandatory law, the policing of not individually negotiated unfair contract terms, rights of withdrawal, the unwinding of consumer contracts following the exercise of a right of withdrawal, and information duties. This paper presents the main conclusions of a more comprehensive German study in English and in the form of 52 propositions, grouped by subject matter and elucidated, in most cases, by brief comments. We thus hope to initiate a discussion on the reform of European consumer contract law that goes beyond a harmonizing generalization of individual rules, which emphasizes intellectual coherence as well as consistency of concepts, policies, and evaluations. A particular focus is on rational justifications for consumer contract rules and on how such rules should be formulated in order to serve the economic purposes they are intended to serve.

Suggested Citation

Eidenmueller, Horst and Faust, Florian and Grigoleit, Hans Christoph and Jansen, Nils and Wagner, Gerhard and Zimmermann, Reinhard, Towards a Revision of the Consumer-Acquis (April 12, 2011). Common Market Law Review, 2011 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1807943

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Florian Faust

Independent

No Address Available

Hans Christoph Grigoleit

Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich - Faculty of Law ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany
+49 (0)89 / 2180 - 1471 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jura.uni-muenchen.de/personen/grigoleit_hans/index.html

Nils Jansen (Contact Author)

University of Muenster ( email )

Institut für Rechtsgeschichte
Universitätsstraße 14-16
Münster, D-48143
Germany

Gerhard Wagner

Humboldt University School of Law ( email )

Unter den Linden 9
Berlin, 10099
Germany

Erasmus School of Law

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Reinhard Zimmermann

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law ( email )

Mittelweg 187
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

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