Comparative Consumer Law Reform and Economic Integration

CONSUMER LAW AND POLICY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, J. Malbon and L. Nottage, eds, Federation Press, Australia, 2013

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 15/77

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 15/2016

45 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2015 Last revised: 25 Oct 2016

See all articles by Luke R. Nottage

Luke R. Nottage

The University of Sydney Law School; The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Christine Riefa

Brunel University - Brunel Law School

Kate Tokeley

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

This paper outlines the emergence of consumer law amidst economic integration. It focuses on developments in the European Union and (towards the other end of the spectrum) New Zealand, but also briefly across the broader Asia-Pacific region (including the United States and Japan). The Australian Consumer Law reforms introduced in 2010 prompted reform debates in New Zealand culminating in the Consumer Law Reform Bill 2011, which was eventually divided into six separate Amendment Acts passed on 10 December 2013. New Zealand's provisions regulating unfair contract terms did not come into force until 17 March 2015, and cannot be invoked directly by consumers (as in Australia and the EU) but only by the regulator. The regulation of consumer credit in New Zealand also underwent a major review in recent years and resulted in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Amendment Act 2014, which was passed into law on 6 June 2014. In addition there have been recent legislative reforms aimed at improving consumer protection in New Zealand financial markets. These reforms have been progressed on a staged basis, with a package of reforms: the Financial Advisors Act 2008; Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008; Financial Markets Authority Act 2011; and Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Significant differences remain between New Zealand and Australian consumer law reforms despite the two countries being close trading partners.

The EU's landscape has also evolved, moving towards ever more integration. The Consumer Rights Directive is now live in Member States, a draft for a reform of the Payment Services Directive is being discussed alongside a new Regulation on Multilateral Interchange Fees (to cap the amount of fees that can be charged on card payments), but the proposed opt-in Common European Sales Law was shelved while agreement is being sought on the scope of the instrument. Many new consumer law initiatives have also come to the fore recently, with much activity continuing to look at how to remove barriers to e-commerce alongside other internal market inhibitors.

Keywords: Consumer law, comparative law, European law, New Zealand law, contract law, product safety law

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Nottage, Luke R. and Riefa, Christine and Tokeley, Kate, Comparative Consumer Law Reform and Economic Integration (2013). CONSUMER LAW AND POLICY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, J. Malbon and L. Nottage, eds, Federation Press, Australia, 2013; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 15/77; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 15/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2662295

Luke R. Nottage (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

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

The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

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

Christine Riefa

Brunel University - Brunel Law School ( email )

Kingston Lane
Elliott Jaques Building
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/people/christine-riefa

Kate Tokeley

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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