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Vol 24 No 10 Oct/Nov 2019

Book of the Month

Cover of Lewis and Buchan: Clinical Negligence A Practical Guide

Lewis and Buchan: Clinical Negligence A Practical Guide

Price: £110.00

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Consumer Theories of Harm

ISBN13: 9781509916856
Previous Edition ISBN: 1849468060
Published: August 2019
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £70.00

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Consumer law and practice has undergone a period of change over the last two decades, culminating in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act and associated changes to the competition regime and to consumer enforcement.

This monograph argues that a further move to higher standards of protection is necessary, and that a more confident use of economic theory will allow practitioners to demonstrate how a poor standard of professional diligence lies at the heart of consumer harm. Both theoretical and practical examples of how to combine existing law with economic theory to improve case outcomes are provided. The book concludes that to move to a more proactive regime in the consumer field, with more assertive enforcement, would entail a move to a positive duty for firms to treat consumers fairly.

Consumer Law
1. Introduction
I. The Search for Fairness
II. Origins of Theories of Harm in Competition Law
III. Using Theories of Harm in Consumer Law – A Natural Evolution
IV. Harnessing the Use of Economics in Consumer Law
V. Contents
2. The Limitations of Consumer Law in Tackling Consumer Harm
I. Introduction
II. Limitations in the Use of Information as a Mainstream Transparency Approach
III. Limitations of the Definition of the 'Average Consumer' Used as a Reference Point for Protection
IV. Implementation of the 'Average Consumer' Standard under the Unfair Commercial Practices Legislation
V. Protecting 'Vulnerable' and 'Disengaged' Consumers
VI. Limitations Found in Unfair Terms Legislation
VII. The Enforcement Framework in the UK
3. The Limitations of Competition Law in Tackling Consumer Harm
I. Introduction
II. Ex-Post Enforcement against Exploitative Abuses
III. The Case for a Holistic Approach under an Ex Ante Administrative Market Regime
IV. The Enforcement Framework in the UK
4. The Economic Framework Underpinning Consumer Theories of Harm
I. Introduction
II. Consumer Surplus
III. The Economic Case for Intervention in Consumer Markets
IV. Concluding Remarks
5. Archetypal Consumer Theories of Harm
I. Introduction
II. The Scam
III. The Lemon
IV. The Shock
V. The Subsidy
VI. Concluding Remarks
6. Applying CToHs – Case Studies
I. Case Study on the CMA Market Inquiry into Retail Energy
II. Case Study on Bank Current Accounts and Savings Accounts
III. Case Study on Claims for Compensation in the Airline Industry
IV. Case Study on Allocated Airline Seating
V. Case Study on Fertility Add-Ons
7. Fairness by Design: The Introduction of a Positive Duty to Trade Fairly
I. Introduction
II. Justifications for Adopting a More Prescriptive Standard of Conduct for the Protection of Consumers
III. Introducing a Positive Duty to Trade Fairly
IV. The Impact of a General and Positive Duty to Trade Fairly
V. Conclusion