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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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Minimum Contract Justice: A Capabilities Perspective on Sweatshops and Consumer Contracts

ISBN13: 9781782257097
Published: May 2017
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £50.00

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The collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh (2013) is one of many cases to invoke critical scrutiny and moral outrage regarding the conditions under which consumer goods sold on our markets are produced elsewhere.

In spite of abiding moral concerns, these goods remain popular and consumers continue to buy them. Such transactionsfor goods made under deplorable production conditions are usually presumed to count as ‘normal’ market transactions, i.e. transactions that are recognized as valid consumer-contracts under the rules of contract law.

Minimum Contract Justice challenges this presumption of normality. It explores the question of how theories of justice bear on such consumer contracts; how should a society treat a transaction for a good made under deplorable conditions elsewhere?

Minimum Contract Justice defends the position that a society that strives to be minimally just should not lend its power to enforce, support, or encourage transactions that are incompatible with the ability of others elsewhere to live decent human lives.

As such, the book introduces a new perspective on the legal debate concerning deplorable production conditions that has settled around ideas of corporate responsibility, and the pursuit of international labour rights.

Contract Law, Consumer Law
1. Minimum Contract Justice: Context and Outline
I. The Questions in a Broader Context
II. Tracing Developments in European Contract Law
III. Market Conduct in Europe in a Global Setting
IV. Outline

2. Minimum Contract Justice: A Capabilities Approach
I. The Development of the Capabilities Concept and Capabilities Perspectives on Justice
II. A Capabilities Based Approach to Minimum Justice
III. Contract Law and the Responsibility Bearing Structure of Society

3. Sweatshops and Consumer Contracts
I. Sweatshops
II. Context: Sweatshops in the Garment Industry
III. The Debate on the Moral Status of Sweatshops
IV. Sweatshops as Contractual Externalities?

4. The Potential Frontiers of Contract Justice: A Sweatshop Case Study
I. Contractual Immorality and its Potential Frontiers
II. Methodology

5. Contractual Immorality in Europe
I. European Instruments of Contract Law
II. The Netherlands
III. Germany
IV. France
V. England
VI. Comparative Conclusions

6. Conclusion
I. A Ranking of Contractual Regimes Based on Minimum Contract Justice
II. A Way Forward