European Review of Private Law

Volume 24 (2016)

Volume 24 (2016) / Issue 5

Marie Jull Sørensen, 'In the Name of Effective Consumer Protection and Public Policy!' (2016) 24 European Review of Private Law, Issue 5, pp. 791–822


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has established that under certain circumstances national courts have an obligation, ex officio, to apply specific consumer protection provisions. This article presents a model derived from the argumentation for this obligation in ECJ case law. The model consists of four steps that include the specific ideas behind consumer protection provisions as well as the interaction between the principle of effectiveness and principle of equivalence. It is found that the principle of effectiveness is stretched very long and is often not set aside by the ‘rule of reason’. It is also found that the ECJ is open to the idea of regarding consumer protection provisions as (European Union (EU)) public policy rules which seems to challenge the traditional principle of equivalence. Based on the findings, the author elaborates on the concept of a European public policy doctrine.

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ISSN: 0928-9801
ID: ERPL2016046