1st Edition

Vulnerable Consumers and the Law Consumer Protection and Access to Justice

Edited By Christine Riefa, Severine Saintier Copyright 2021
    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book charts the difficulties encountered by vulnerable consumers in their access to justice, through the contributions of prominent authors (academic, practitioners and consultants) in the field of consumer law and access to justice.

    It demonstrates that despite the development of ADR, access to justice is still severely lacking for the vulnerable consumer. The book highlights that a broad understanding of access to justice, which encompasses good regulation and its public enforcement, is an essential ingredient alongside access to the mechanisms of traditional private justice (courts and ADR) to protect the vulnerable consumer. Indeed, many of the difficulties are linked to normative obstacles and lack of access to justice is primarily a vulnerability in itself that can exacerbate existing ones. In addition, because it may contribute to ‘pushing’ already vulnerable consumers into social exclusion it is not simply about economic justice but also about social justice.

    The book shows that lack of access to justice is not irreversible nor is it necessarily linked to consumer apathy. New technologies could provide solutions. The book concludes with a plea for developing ‘inclusive’ justice systems with more emphasis on public enforcement alongside effective courts systems to offer the vulnerable with adequate means to defend themselves.

    This book will be suitable for both students and practitioners, and all those with an interest in the justice system.

    Foreword by Mary O'Hara

    1. In search of (access to) justice for vulnerable consumers

    Christine Riefa and Séverine Saintier

    2. Economic theory and consumer vulnerability: Exploring an uneasy relationship

    Christine Riefa and Harriet Gamper

    3. A Universal Perspective on vulnerability: International Definitions and Targets.

    Robin Simpson

    4. The legal definition of ‘vulnerable’ consumers in the UCPD: benefits and limitations of a focus on personal attributes

    Eleni Kaprou

    5. Vulnerable consumers in financial services and access to justice: the regulatory response

    Sarah Brown

    6. Regulating the consumer credit market – protecting vulnerable consumers

    Nic Ryder and Dan Jasinski

    7. Vulnerability in the UK Energy Market

    Tim Dodsworth

    8. Using ‘stokvel’ community values to combat financial exclusion

    Andrew Hutchinson

    9. The role of voluntary standards in improving outcomes for consumers in vulnerable situations

    Julie Hunter

    10. Improving courts and ADR to help vulnerable consumers access justice

    Cosmo Graham

    11. ODR and Access to Justice for vulnerable consumers: the case of the EU ODR Platform

    Elisabetta Sciallis

    12. Consumer ADR in the European Union and in Portugal as a means of ensuring consumer protection

    Jorge Morais Carvalho

    13. Online Dispute Resolution of Consumer Disputes, Vulnerable Consumers and New Technologies

    Mateja Durovic and Plamena Markova

    14. Using claims management as a method to help consumers on low income

    Peter Rott

    15. The way forward: for an ‘inclusive’ access to justice to protect vulnerable consumers

    Christine Riefa and Séverine Saintier



    Christine Riefa is a Reader in Consumer Law, Brunel University.

    Séverine Saintier is an Associate Professor in Commercial Law, Exeter University.