Consumer Law and Policy in Australia and New Zealand
Federation Press – 2013 – 480 pages
This book examines the 2010 'Australian Consumer Law' reform package in broader context. It considers parallel re-regulation of consumer credit and other financial markets impacting on consumers. It also compares recent reform initiatives in New Zealand, Australiaâ€™s closest economic and geo-political partner, as well as developments in other major economies including the European Union, Japan and the United States.
In addition, the book examines policy considerations and market transformations, as well as the often complex legislative history associated with recent consumer law reform proposals in Australia and New Zealand. Each substantive chapter usually begins with that broader setting, especially the issues and recommendations of a 2008 Report by Australia's Productivity Commission. Chapters then outline 'how the law works', before offering a critical assessment of the current regime.
This book will therefore appeal to policy-makers, researchers, senior law students, and legal practitioners interested in an advanced and wide-ranging analysis of current consumer law issues â€“ particularly in Australia. The 14 contributors are consumer law experts associated with Australasian Consumer Law Roundtables, held annually in Australia and New Zealand since 2007 to bring together academics, regulators and peak consumer group representative.
Specific areas covered include: definitions of 'consumers', mandatory quality guarantees and controls over unfair terms in consumer contracts, regulation of unconscionable conduct, a possible general prohibition of 'unfair practices', product liability and safety regulation, responsible lending and 'hardship' provisions in consumer credit, consumer banking and financial advice, vulnerable consumers, interest rate caps, dispute resolution, regulatory powers and e-commerce.
Part 1: General Themes Introduction Luke Nottage and Justin Malbon Just Who is the Consumer? Policy Rationales and a Proposal for Change Aviva Freilich and Lynden Griggs Comparative Consumer Law Reform and Economic Integration Luke Nottage, Christine Riefa and Kate Tokeley Part 2: Unfair Practices and Defective Products Consumer Guarantees Jeannie Paterson and Kate Tokeley Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Contracts Nyuk Yin Nahan and Eileen Webb Unconscionable Conduct in Consumer and Business Transactions Nyuk Yin Nahan and Eileen Webb A General Provision on Unfair Practices? Jeannie Paterson Product Liability and Safety Regulation Luke Nottage and Jocelyn Kellam Part 3: Consumer Credit and Investment Responsible Lending, Unjust Terms and Hardship Justin Malbon Financial Literacy, Consumer Banking and Financial Advice Gail Pearson Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Consumers Therese Wilson Interest Rate Caps and Price Regulation in Consumer Credit Nicola Howell Part 4: Access to Remedies and Enforcement Consumer Complaints Justin Malbon Regulatory Consistency and Powers Paul Oâ€™Shea E-Commerce Lynden Griggs
Justin Malbon specialises in consumer law and international trade law. He is a Professor at Monash Law School and an Adjunct Research Fellow of the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture.
Justin was a Visiting Scholar at the Law School and Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College at Cambridge University (2007), and a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Italy (1998). He is also a former Dean of the Law School at Griffith University.
Justinâ€™s publications include Australian Export: A Guide to Law and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Interpreting and Implementing the TRIPS Agreement: Is it Fair? (Elgar, 2008), Understanding the Global TV Format (Intellect, 2006), and A Commentary on the TRIPS Agreement (Elgar, forthcoming).
Justin is a board member of the Queensland Competition Authority, and a panel member of both the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
Luke Nottage specialises in consumer product safety law, contract law, corporate governance and arbitration, with a particular interest in Japan and the Asia-Pacific. He is Associate Dean (International) and Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School, and Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS).
Luke previously worked at Victoria University of Wellington and Kyushu University, and has held fellowships at other leading institutions in Japan and Australia as well as Germany, Italy and Canada.
His publications include Product Safety and Liability Law in Japan (Routledge, 2004), seven other books, and over a hundred chapters and refereed or other articles.
He has executive roles in the Australia-Japan Society (NSW), the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, and the Australasian Forum for International Arbitration. Luke also serves on the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on the International Protection of Consumers.
He is a founding Director of Japanese Law Links Pty Ltd and has consulted for law firms world-wide, the European Commission, the OECD, the UNDP, and the Japanese government. Luke qualified as a lawyer in New Zealand in 1994 and in New South Wales in 2001.