The paper gives an overview of the increased litigation leading to innovative case law of the ECJ concerning the scope and effects of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (Directive 93/13/EEC) on consumer contracts, in particular financial services and services in the general economic interest. The originally limited impact of the Directive on Member State contract law and procedure has been substantially extended – as a metaphor, one may even say that a “Sleeping Beauty has been kissed awake” by the Court! The authors follow the recent case law both in its legal and economic consequences on consumer protection in the EU internal market. The paper ends with an outlook on the state of “Social Contract Law in the EU” – hoping to provoke a broader discussion on the concept and limits of a “Europeanization” of contract law already under way.
Hans-W Micklitz, Norbert Reich, ‘The Court and Sleeping Beauty: The revival of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (UCTD)’. (2014) 51 Common Market Law Review, Issue 3, pp 771–808.