This book focuses on unfair contract terms in consumer contracts, in particular the existing legislation and the proposals by the Law Commissions for a new unified regime. In this context it considers, in particular, what we mean by fairness (both procedurally and in substance); the tools used; the European dimension; the move from general principles from the more piecemeal approach typical in UK legal tradition; and the further move in this direction as a result of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.
'For the typical consumer 'freedom of contract' is often a slogan that has little connection to reality. Negotiation is rarely feasible. And so the law intervenes in pursuit of a fairer outcome than is generated by the market. But how do we understand 'fairness' mandated by law? In this book Chris Willett provides a thorough and thoughtful investigation.' Stephen Weatherill, Somerville College, University of Oxford, UK 'This timely book presents a sustained and penetrating analysis of the key articulations of (un)fairness in the law of consumer contracts. If we are to improve our understanding of the principal pieces in this particular regulatory jigsaw - "good faith", "transparency", "inequality of bargaining strength", "significant imbalance", "consumer choice", "reasonable expectation", and the like - as well as their interrelationships, then Willett's expert commentary is essential reading.' Roger Brownsword, King's College London, UK
Contents: Preface; Introduction to fairness issues; Freedom, fairness and testing for unfairness; Introduction to the fairness regimes; Default rules, reasonable expectations and reasonableness under UCTA; The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Terms Regulations (UTCCR); The general fairness reviews - UCTA, UTCCR and the new test; A broader view of the fairness regimes described; The transformation; Reviewing the rules on unfair terms in consumer contracts and surveying the bigger picture; Index.