News / General

UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008

By SLAS Spokesperson

This topic does not sound very exciting and, indeed it is not very exciting unless you tend to get excited by watching the destruction of all the law that you ever learned. Frankly, these regulations just make me think what a wonderful piece of legislation was the Sale of Goods Act 1893 which contained provisions that easily percolated into business and general awareness and which kept its place for near enough a century. It was a simple enough matter to extend the concept to include services and some other tinkering but the current regulations are almost completely unrecognisable to this reader. Tried and tested concepts are now replaced with a general prohibition of “unfair commercial practices” and the reasonable person seems to have become the “average consumer”. To assist members with an explanation of these European based regulations, our March Gazette contains a detailed and very readable explanation, analysis and some criticism by Craig Cathcart and Jane Williams. Whether you practise in this area or not, you must familiarise yourself with this new territory in order to keep up to date with the new language and avoid using outdated terminology, even in casual conversation. From another point of view, ironically, it is probably quite good for lawyers’ business because it is very vague and quite likely to lead to misunderstandings and disputes.

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