Three Modes of Regulating Price Terms in Standard-Form Contracts: The Israeli Experience
20 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017 Last revised: 31 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 29, 2017
Regulation of the content of standard-form contracts usually focuses on the invisible terms that customers hardly ever read. It does not refer to the price, because price is a salient component of the transaction, to which customers usually pay attention and sometimes even compare between suppliers. However, it is often difficult to draw the line between the price and price-related, invisible terms.
This report — prepared for the 2018 general conference of the International Academy of Comparative Law — analyzes the Israeli experience concerning the regulation of prices and price-related terms. The Israeli experience is interesting for several reasons. These include the fact that in 1964, Israel was the first country to enact a specific Law regulating the content of standard-form contracts, which established both a framework for ex post judicial supervision and a mechanism for ex ante, administrative/quasi-judicial supervision; the various reforms made in these mechanisms throughout the years, including the de facto abolition of the administrative/quasi-judicial mechanism in 2014; and the activist policy adopted by the Israeli Banking Supervisor. While Israeli law — much like other systems — has long imposed strict disclosure duties on banks, insurers, and other suppliers, unlike some other systems, it has always regulated the content of contracts, as well. This regulation was vital during the 2008 subprime crisis, in which Israel suffered little, and recovered quickly.
Keywords: Standard-Form Contracts, Israel, Prices, Banking Regulation, Consumer Law
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