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Consumers Essay

1166 words - 5 pages

The rise of mercantile capitalism and the industrial revolution has made village consumerism irrelevant. Products were once less complicated due to the local nature of industry with the idea of caveat emptor “let the buyer beware” and laissez faire (no govt intervention) these are now outdated due to manufacturers engaging in deceptive conduct. This lead to the need for law reform. Consumer laws objective was to remedy the imbalance between manufacturer and consumer and reflect the moral and ethical standards of society. The following essay will evaluate the effectiveness of the legal responses which protect consumers with regards to occupational licensing, implied terms, marketing and ...view middle of the document...

Some businesses use exclusion causes to take away the implied terms of a contract, this will not be allowed in court as seen in (Curtis v Chemical Cleaning and dyeing Co. 1951). Exclusion causes are effective as they make the trader more liable for goods or services through remedies such as damages or rescission. This is in accordance with morals and ethics of society and thus highlights the effectiveness of consumer law. “Model consumer submission in response to productivity commission draft report on Australia’s consumer policy framework” (Choice 2008) shows the use of exclusion clauses.

Unjust contracts are contracts which involve misrepresentation, duress, undue influence, and unconsciable conduct. Misrepresentation is seen in Hedley Byrne and Co. Ltd v. Heller and Partners Ltd (1964). Duress can be seen in Barton v. Armstrong (1976). Unconsciable conduct can include taking advantage of non English speaking people and intoxicated people as seen in both CBA v. Amadio (1983) and Blomley v. Ryan (1956). These are protected by common law. They are extremely effective in protecting vulnerable consumers levelling the balance of power in all circumstances. Statutory protection regarding unjust contracts include the Minors (property and contracts) Act 1970 (NSW). This restricts the enforcement of certain contracts against minors; contracts entered into by minors will not be enforced unless the contract is for their benefit. Minors and contracts are shown in the report “Consumer Contracts” (SMH, 2010). The Contracts Review Act 1980 (NSW) is the law judges look at to see if a contract is unjust. This allows for remedies such as a contract being rescinded. The ACL allows for a 10 day cooling off period after buying something of a salesperson or telemarketer. The Australian Competition and Consumer commission (ACCC) protects customers from unfair contracts and business misconduct as seen in “Consumer watchdog probes carbon price hikes” (ABC, 2012). These laws are extremely effective in protecting consumers as they are in the best interests of society and the consumer, they allow for remedies such as repair, replacement, and refund and also rescission of contracts. As they effectively protect an individual in all cases (including minors and the disabled) they reflect society’s views and balance the power of consumers and businesses.

The tort of negligence is governed by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cwlth. A tort of negligence is concerned with protection of the individual, their property and economic interests from damage caused by another person’s failure to take a duty of care,...

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