Protecting Consumer Protection

49 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 259 (2018)

20 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2018 Last revised: 27 Aug 2018

See all articles by Jessica C. Lai

Jessica C. Lai

Victoria University of Wellington

Shmuel I. Becher

Victoria University of Wellington

Date Written: June 7, 2018


This article submits that recent consumer law cases are shaping consumer law in an unwarranted way. True, the courts have acknowledged the importance of advancing consumer law and protecting consumers. However, upon closer examination it becomes questionable whether courts are employing the right framework, tools and considerations. By analysing recent country of origin cases we identify some potential worrisome ways in which the courts have actually eroded consumer law, rather than strengthening it. In particular, such cases allow the proprietary interest of goodwill to creep into the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA). Doing so, even if only at the stage of determining the penalty to be imposed, may shift the dial further towards the FTA being a means for protecting traders’ interests. This, in turn, may lead to negative unintended consequences.

Keywords: consumer protection, country of origin, goodwill, reputation, penalties, courts

Suggested Citation

Lai, Jessica C. and Becher, Shmuel I., Protecting Consumer Protection (June 7, 2018). 49 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 259 (2018), Available at SSRN:

Jessica C. Lai (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

PO Box 600
New Zealand

Shmuel I. Becher

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand


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