Volume 50 (2013) / Issue 1/2
This Article classifies the consumer protection techniques that European contract law employs into four categories: Mandatory arrangements; disclosure; regulation of entry to and exit from contract; and pro-buyer default rules and contract interpretation. It argues that these techniques are far less likely to succeed than advocates, including the European Commission, believe, and they may bring about unintended consequences and hurt consumers. The techniques and their limits are illustrated through a study of proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL). The Article argues that the ambitious pursuit of consumer protection goals is also likely to interfere with the other main goal of the European contract law: harmonizing the laws of member states, encouraging cross border trade, and improving consumer' access to markets.
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