Mindy Chen-Wishart, ‘Regulating Unfair Terms’

Since written contracts are overwhelmingly in standard form, regulating such contracts must be one of contract law’s most important tasks. As Law Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor Beale brought his formidable scholarship, intellect and judgement to bear on the subject of unfair standard terms.The Law Commission’s avowed objective was to design a legislative regime that preserves the consumer protections currently afforded by both the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. This has borne fruit as part of the Consumer Rights Bill, currently before Parliament. However, while the substantive law embodied in UCTA and UTCCR is reasonably well settled, there has been relatively little theorising on the justification for the precise scheme of regulation contained therein. Doing so is important in itself, for any law that demands obedience should also be justifiable. The task is also important to guide adjudication, to provide a basis for any critique of the current law, and to point the way of future reform.

Chen-Wishart, Mindy, Regulating Unfair Terms (January 27, 2015). English and European Perspectives on Contract and Commercial Law: Essays in Honour of Hugh Beale, October 2014, ISBN 9781849465496.

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