November 2019 IACL Newsletter
Dear IACL Members,
Warm welcome to the International Association of Consumer Law, November 2019 Newsletter. It covers as usual the news from the jurisdiction, conferences, journals, call for papers and articles. The purpose of the newsletter is to keep members up to date with the latest developments in our association and across the world.
Please do circulate it to any new person you think may want to take part in our activities and become a member. Please feel free to also send your news items via email to [email protected] . For any items that may not be able to wait that long, you can contact us to post on our website https://www.iacl.net.au or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IACLaw/.
Christine Riefa, on behalf of the IACL board.
- News from the Association
- Announcement of the IACL’s 2021 Conference Host
- News from the Jurisdictions
- Book/ Article Announcements
- Conferences – Call for papers
- NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATION
Welcome to our new and current board members elected in Indianapolis
At the 2019 board meeting of the International Association of Consumer Law (IACL) held in Indianapolis in the United States of America Professor Byung Jun Lee was nominated to serve as a board member. The rest of the board, in so far as present at the meeting, agreed with the nomination and during the subsequent election he was appointed as a member of the Board. Professor Byung-Jun Lee obtained his PhD in Germany Tübingen in 1999 and started in 2000 at the Pusan National University as a Professor. Since 2003 he has been working at the Law School of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) in Seoul, South Korea. He was the Director of the Consumer Law Centre of HUFS in 2016 and the Head of the Law Research Institute of HUFS from March 2017 to February 2019. He is the author of many publications on Korean consumer law and the law of e-commerce. He is currently the President of the Korea Consumer Law Society and especially a member of the Korean Commission for the Reform of the Consumer Protection Act for e-commerce, the Act on e-documents and e-commerce and the Act on e-learning. In addition, he works as a mediator for the Korean Institution for Mediation in E-Commerce and the Institution for Online Advertising and for the Autonomous Mediation Committee. He was a member of the Korean Delegation to the UNCITRAL Working Group III (Online Dispute Resolution).
The General Assembly in Indianapolis reconfirmed the current members of the Board, including the president (i.e, Professor M Kelly-Louw) and vice-president (i.e. Professor M.B.M Loos), for the next two years. The next elections will take place at the 18th International Conference to be held in 2021.
17th international conference of the International Association of Consumer Law held in Indianapolis, United States of America
The 17th international conference of the IACL took place at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law from June 13 through June 15, 2019. The event was organized around the theme of “Innovation and the Transformation of Consumer Law”, and brought 92 attendees from 27 different countries. Professor James P. Nehf, an IACL board member, served as the host of the conference. The previous IACL conference took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2017 under the leadership of Professor Claudia Lima Marcus, an IACL board member. This was the first time that the biennial meeting has been held in the United States.
“Our international guests were very complimentary of the city, the law school, and all of our staff who worked on the event”, Professor Nehf said. The event provided a forum where international scholars, practitioners, representatives of consumer organizations, public authorities, and business could gather to present and discuss issues relevant to consumer protection in many sectors and from various perspectives. Topics explored included “Post-Brexit Consumer Law”, “The Algorithms’ Revolution and the Consumer’s Right to Explanation”, and “Smart Contracts and Consumer Protection”, among many others. During the conference, scholars and practitioners presented their research during breakout workshop sessions. The positive review received in the United States also bears testament to the fact that the conference was a great success (see, eg, https://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2019/06/a-terrific-conference-and-a-terrific-talk.html). Several papers were selected for publication in the Indiana International & Comparative Law Review. Other papers will be included in a book being edited by IACL board members Professors Dan Wei, Claudia Lima Marques, and James Nehf. A link to abstracts of the conference papers can be found on the IACL website (see: https://www.iacl.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Abstracts-of-Presenters-2.pdf). Photos of the event are found at link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/indylaw/albums/72157709130388177
Attendees took part in a welcome reception at the Indiana Historical Society, a dinner gathering at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis, and a visit to Dallara IndyCar Factory, where those who chose to could take a ride in an IndyCar or a NASCAR through the streets of Speedway, Indiana. IU McKinney student Courtney Einterz served as the Conference Coordinator, and handled all communications, kept track of abstracts, registrations, papers, and worked throughout the planning stages, which began in December 2017. She was presented with the IACL’s Distinguished Service Award.
Ms Ogochukwu (Ogo) Monye, a law lecturer at the University of Benin, Nigeria and a doctoral candidate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa was awarded the 2019 Udo Reifner Prize for the best abstract by a young doctoral scholar for her paper titled “Identification Management in Nigeria: Innovations for Financial Inclusion,” which discussed the important issue of lack of documentation that impedes numerous Nigerians from accessing financial services. The abstract of her paper follows below:
In Nigeria, about 41.6 percent of the population of the country lacks access to formal financial services according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. Studies have shown that apart from factors such as distance to banks, financial illiteracy, irregular income, unemployment and complexity of account opening; lack of proof of identity documentation debars a significant number of persons from accessing finance. This paper seeks to address the last issue as a significant factor of financial exclusion in order to help citizens more easily fulfil mandatory Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks as well as facilitate access to additional financial products including loans, pension and insurance. Significantly, this is in line with goal 16.9 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which envisions a legal identity for all by the year 2030. Notably, the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) was established since 2007 to oversee all matters of citizens’ registration. So far, the commission has only succeeded in registering about 30 million Nigerians out of the total national population of approximately 198 million. The doctrinal method of research is employed as mostly legal literature and regulatory guidelines and policies are utilised. Furthermore, the author will draw examples from the regulatory landscape of other jurisdictions such as Pakistan, Peru and Uganda where positive strides have been achieved in the sphere of national registration. In Pakistan for instance, 98 per cent of the target population has been captured in the national identification programme including socially disadvantaged groups aided by a wide array of mobile registration agents comprising hikers, van drivers, mountaineers, bikers and skiers to locate citizens even in the most remote locations. Similarly, Uganda has attained 99 percent registration even though the programme was only commenced in the year 2014. The author proposes a self-sustaining universal national identification system that provides Nigerians with the needed foundational identity to access financial services with a view to achieving financial inclusion. The paper proposes an efficient national identification system that is cost-effective, inclusive and recognises the unique socio-cultural and demographic characteristics of Nigeria. The shortcomings of the existing identification system such as funding strategies, mode of registration and logistics management are highlighted. The paper proposes more effective means to reach excluded populations through an efficient national identification system founded on new and existing technology including biometrics, blockchain and the Internet of Things. The paper is expected to contribute to the growing body of literature on improving national identification and the global conversation on financial inclusion bolstered on an effective national identification system. Furthermore, the recommendations are intended to foster socially inclusive gains in several other sectors including agriculture, health and social security. Finally, even though this work is specifically focused on Nigeria, the findings offer veritable lessons for other nations grappling with financial exclusion by reason of inadequate or unsuitable identification systems.
The Udo Reifner Prize was introduced for the first time at the 2019 IACL conference that took place in Indianapolis. Prior to the introduction of this award, a general award was given to the best paper abstracts submitted by young/doctoral students for the IACL conference. Awards were given for the best abstracts at the IACL’s Sydney Conference (2013) and the Amsterdam Conference (2015) respectively. At the 2017 Porto Alegre Conference the board decided to name the award the Norbert Reich Prize in honour of the late Professor Norbert Reich for hiscontributions for consumer protection and economic development. At the 2019 Indianapolis Conference we named the prize in honour of Professor Udo Reifner for his loyal support of the IACL’s work and conferences over the years and his valuable international contributions in the area of consumer law, particularly consumer credit law.
Prof. Dr. Udo Reifner (born 1948) studied sociology and law in Berlin and Marburg. He is the founder and long-term Director of the independent institute for financial services (iff reg. ass.). His dissertation was on the law of consumer credit 1976. His first project with the EU was in 1983 on new forms of consumer legal advice. In 1981 he obtained the then only chair on consumer law in Germany to 2015 at the Hamburg University where he succeeded Professor Norbert Reich. After his retirement in Germany he was professor at Trento University for three years. He was a guest professor with a focus on financial consumer law at the McGill University, Montreal (1986), Université de Louvain-la-Neuve (1990), De Paul University, Chicago (1994), Birmingham University (1997), and the New York University (Spring 2000). He attended the EU-Consumer Law conferences in the 1980s, published an EU-Report together with Thierry Bourgoignie, Nick Huls, Thomas Wilhemsson, Norbert Reich, David Caplovitz. In 1989 he organised his first EU-conference on responsible financial services followed by conferences in Birmingham, Strasbourg, Bergamo and Gothenburg. From the very beginning of IACL he became an active member of it. His over 280 publications are focussed on financial services law and consumer debt, sociology of law and the history of German law under fascism. In 2017 he summarized his interdisciplinary research in three Volumes on the “economics, sociology and law of money” with a fourth volume on the 2008 financial crisis. Together with the US based NCRC he initiated the Coalition for Responsible Credit (www.responsible-credit.net), with the University of Trento the European Social Contract Group (www.eusoco.eu) and recently the Coalition against Usury in Germany (www.stopwucher.de). He is member of a number of consumer organisations, was president of the EU financial user committee and served five years as an expert in the advisory board of the German Financial Services Authorities (BAFIN).
The IACL received two excellent bids to host the 2021 conference. The one bid was prepared by Santa Fe city, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, Faculty of Legal and Social Sciences, Litoral National University (prepared under the leadership of Prof Sebastián Barocelli from the University of Buenos Aires) to host the conference in Santa Fe in Argentina. The other bid was to host the conference in Hamburg, Germany and it was prepared by the Institute for Financial Services (IFF) (under the leadership of Dr Sally Peters and Prof. Dr Udo Reifner), an independent non-profit organization which was founded in 1987. After a rigorous voting process by the board of the IACL the bid was awarded to Hamburg. We congratulate the IFF for winning the bid to host the next IACL conference! The call for conference papers and more details regarding the 2021 conference in Hamburg (provisionally scheduled for July 2021) will follow in due course.
- NEWS FROM THE JURISDICTIONS
Report by Dr. Ong Tze Chin,
Senior Law Lecturer, INTI International University, Nilai, Malaysia
The major legislation governing consumer protection in Malaysia is Consumer Protection Act 1999 which came into force on 15th November 1999. Besides that, there are different legislations that provide protection for Malaysian consumers in different areas such as Sale of Goods Act 1957, Hire Purchase Act 1967, Price Control and Anti Profiteering Act 2011, Control of Supplies Act 1961, Trade Descriptions Act 1972, Weights and Measures Act 1972, Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993 and many others. Since its implementation, Consumer Protection Act 1999 has had six amendments made [2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2017] with the most recent one in 2019. The amendments are as follows:
- Amendment 2002 – listing the types of Future Services Contract gazetted by the Ministry for the purpose of the section 17(1);
- Amendment 2003 – increasing membership of the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia’s membership to include members from the judicial and legal services, and increasing the award for claims from RM10, 000 to RM25, 000;
- Amendment 2007 – widening the scope of the Act to include electronic commerce transactions;
- Amendment 2010 – expanding existing provisions to ensure the Act remains relevant to changes in trade practices and to provide more protection to consumers. The amendment introduces two new parts:
a) Part IIIA – Unfair Contract Terms which defines the provisions to protect consumers from unfair terms in a standard form contract; and
b) Part XIIA – Committee on Advertisement, which provides power to the Minister to establish a committee to monitor and take necessary action against suppliers with false and misleading advertisements.
- Amendment 2017 – deleting the definition of ‘credit instrument’ to
include a new Part IIIB for Credit Sale Transaction; and
(vi) Amendment 2019 – increasing the compensation sum of the Tribunal for Consumer Claims from RM25,000 to RM50,000. The latest amendment also increases the criminal penalty for failure to comply with the Tribunals’ award from RM5,000 to RM10,000 and, increase the penalty for continuing offence from RM1,000 to RM5,000. This latest amendment is yet to be gazetted.
The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act 2017 has marked a significant change on consumer credit sale transactions. Prior to this amendment; there is no governing laws in relation to credit sale agreement for consumers in terms of goods. Consumer credit sale agreement is often left to the bargaining parties to agree on the terms of the contract, upholding the freedom of contact. The existence of unequal bargaining power among businesses and consumer, often leave consumers in a vulnerable position in getting a fair deal for its credit terms. This amendment not only governs a seller as a credit facilities provider, but also any person that provides a credit facility in a credit sale transaction involving consumers. The 2017 Amendment Act also governs the contents of the credit sale agreement to ensure clarity of the agreement. In addition, the ownership of the purchased goods under the credit sale agreement is passed to the purchaser. Despite some of the deficiencies, the 2017 amendment is a much-welcomed measure to fill in the lacuna in consumer credit sale transactions.
Report by Afida Mastura Muhammad Arif, Daljit Kaur Sandhu & Elistina Abu Bakar
Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Consumer Law Reforms in Malaysia – Moneylending Law
Moneylending industry in Malaysia is one of the oldest but still relevant in providing informal financial services to consumers, especially for those who were excluded by the formal financial institution. The industry is regulated by the Moneylenders Act 1951 and licensing of moneylenders under the Act is the main tool to ensure that moneylenders comply with the laws and guidelines. Apart from this Act, the legislation on consumer credit is the Pawnbrokers Act 1972 and the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. Hence, the regulation of consumer credit still adopts a fragmentary approach with piecemeal legislation based on form rather than substance.
The regulated system of moneylending in Malaysia involves three stakeholders; the consumers that borrow money or borrowers, licensed moneylenders who offer loans to borrowers and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, as the regulator. Licensed moneylenders provide loans for two diverse consumers, first is the micro-financing for small business and second is for the personal financing of individuals. Borrowers can obtain any amount of loans with an interest rate of 12% with collateral or 18% without collateral. Despite running legal business, moneylending industry is often inundated with negative perception and associated with the notorious illegal moneylenders. Such negative perception has made the consumers and small traders fearful of getting loans. In order to remove this stigma, the Ministry has rebranded 4,115 licensed moneylenders as ‘credit community’. Licensed moneylenders were given three months to use the new name and logo, complete with a QR Code on their signage. It is anticipated that the rebranding exercise would raise public awareness on legitimate sources of financing as the new name is more customer friendly. Digitization of moneylending system has also taken place where the Ministry has extended moneylending licenses to electronic payment companies. A mobile application known as ‘i-kredikom’ was also recently launched. The application has four features; to provide brief explanations on the borrower’s rights under the law, search for the nearby credit community premises, file a complaint and check the status of the complaint.
Despite these exciting new updates on the industry, questions remain whether the current law gives sufficient protection to the borrowers. With the challenges of the digital age and consumer protection in financial services, the need for reform of not only moneylending but all consumer credit law is crucial. Realising the need to address these issues, the Central Bank of Malaysia is currently working with several ministries to transform the consumer credit piecemeal legislation to a whole new order of consumer credit law. It is anticipated that the new Act will be implemented next year. The Act will promote a healthy consumer credit market across the board, by providing consumers with equal treatment and protection irrespective of whom they borrow from, including moneylenders.
Report by Paul Edgar Micallef
Senior Visiting Lecturer – University of Malta
Recent development in consumer law enforcement in Malta
On the 29th July 2019 following the enactment of Act XVI, amendments to the Consumer Affairs Act and to the Competition Act came into force which radically change the enforcement and sanctions regime under Maltese Law. In substance as a result of these amendments the Director General (Consumer Affairs) (‘DG’) is now required to apply to the Civil Court (Commercial Section) if the DG Consumer Affairs considers that is an infringement of the consumer laws which he enforces. Under the previous regime the DG Consumer Affairs was empowered to impose administrative fines if he considered that consumer laws falling under his remit were infringed, with the aggrieved persons then having the right to contestation such fines before an independent specialised adjudicative forum.
The reason for this change in procedure arose falling a landmark judgement given on the 3rd May 2016 by the Maltese Constitutional Court in a case filed by the Federation of Estate Agents (the ‘Federation’) against the Director General Competition and Office of the Attorney General. In that case the Federation argued that the possibility that as result of the investigations undertaken by the DG Competition, the Federation could be on the receiving end of hefty administrative fine, constituted a breach of its rights under article 39(1) of the Constitution of Malta for a fair hearing before a court since it faced sanctions which effectively were of a criminal nature. Both the court of first instance and subsequently, in appeal, the Constitutional Court agreed with this line of reasoning. Following public consultation process in August 2018, Parliament earlier this year approved amendments to both the Competition Act and the Consumer Affairs Act, whereby in both instances any regulatory measures initiated with the purpose of imposing administrative fines must be referred to the Civil Court whereby the DG concerned is required to apply to the Court seeking a judgement by that Court on the basis of which sanctions can then be imposed.
Public consultation issued in August 2018 by the Government of Malta on amendments to competition and consumer legislation
The Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government in tandem with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) in August 2018, issued a public consultation proposing amendments both to competition law and to consumer law. The proposed amendments are mainly in response to a judgment of the Maltese Constitutional Court given on the 3rd May 2016 in the case ‘Federation of Estate Agents versus Direttur General (Kompetizzjoni) et. In that judgment the Constitutional Court upheld a request by plaintiffs, declaring various enforcement provisions under the Competition Act enabling the Director General (Competition) to impose substantial administrative fines if there is a breach of competition law, to be contrary to article 39(1) of the Constitution of Malta, since fines imposed by the Director General are of a criminal nature as they are meant to punish non-compliance. According to the Court any decisions to impose sanctions of a criminal nature can only be taken by a Court of law and therefore the provisions under the Competition Act enabling the Director General to impose sanctions are contrary to the Constitution of Malta. In order to address this issue Government published proposals amending both competition law and consumer law, inviting submissions from the general public in relation to these proposals.
The salient changes being proposed include:
 the review by the Civil Court (Commercial Section) of contestations of any regulatory decisions taken by the Director General, including decisions imposing administrative fines. The amendments envisage that the Director General cannot enforce a decision imposing a fine before the lapse of the timeframe during which any such decision can be contested. If the decision is contested then any such fine can only be collected on the conclusion of the review proceedings before the court, and then only if the Court confirms the decision of the Director General. These new procedure also apply to apply to administrative fines and other regulatory decisions taken by the Director General (Consumer Affairs) in relation to compliance issues concerning the enforcement of consumer law. The Court in either instance has the power to confirm, revoke or vary any administrative fine imposed. The proposed amendments also provide for a further right of appeal from a decision of the Civil Court to the Court of Appeal both on points of law and of fact;
 New settlement procedures whereby parties who admit to having acted in breach of competition law, may benefit to a reduced fine of between 10% to 35%. The purpose of this procedure is to encourage settlement discussions leading to voluntary admission of non-compliance in lieu of court litigation; and
 The necessity of obtaining a court order prior to the conduct of inspections of commercial premises.
Amendments to the Consumer Affairs Act
Despite the fact that the judgement delivered by the Constitutional Court in Federation of Estate Agents v Direttur Generali (Kompetizzjoni) u L-Onorevoli Prim Ministru u L-Avukat Generali referred solely to the administrative proceedings instituted by the Director General (Competition) in terms of the Competition Act, it was considered that the decision of the Court was similarly relevant to the administrative proceedings instituted by the Director General (Consumer Affairs) in terms of the Consumer Affairs Act. In this regard, amendments are being proposed to delete any reference to the ‘Appeals Tribunal’ in favour of the newly established review procedure before the Civil Court (Commercial Section). This necessitated amendments to the Consumer Affairs Act and to the Subsidiary Legislation made thereunder. Other related amendments are also being proposed. These include:
• Granting the power to the Director General to extend the operative period of an undertaking (‘commitment’) to a period longer than the present 3 year period – This ensures that the terms and conditions of the undertaking entered into between a trader and the Office can be made to remain effective for a period longer than 3 years.
• Granting the Director General (Consumer Affairs) the power to publish his decision. This contributes to the principle that ‘not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.’ This is in line with similar administrative measures issued by other regulators under their respective legislation.
Report by Dr. Henry C. Uzokwe
There are currently new reforms in placeto improve the Nigeria competition and consumer protection landscape. In February 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Nigerian Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 to deal with the perceived loss of public confidence in the market competition. The new Act will not only introduce an extensive competition law regime in Nigeria, but, it will also the repeal the Consumer Protection Act, Cap C25, 1992 (the Consumer Protection Act). The Act mirrors the efforts over the years to have substantive law for the promotion of competition and protection of consumers in Nigeria. The Act has 168 sections divided into 18 parts which applies to all markets and commercial activities within Nigeria.
- One important aspect of the new Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) is that it retains the statutory role of ‘merger review’ which was part of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandate prior to signing the FCCPA.
Highlights of the New Act
- The Act repeals the Consumer Protection Act Cap. C25, Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
- The establishes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to advise the Federal Government, carry out administrative duties, promote, protect and enforce consumer interests.
- The Act also establishes the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal with the powers to impose penalties for the promotion of competition in the Nigeria markets at all levels.
- The Act empowers the Federal Government (the president) to appoint, remove and prescribe conditions of service for both members of the Commission and the Tribunal.
The Act is applicable to all commercial activities within or having effect within Nigeria and contains provisions dealing with abuse of dominance, merger control, monopiles, consumer protection and price regulation. The new Act has provided a platform whereby consumers can file their complaints directly with the commission or other industry sector regulator with jurisdiction. These complaints will be heard by the Commission and the can prescribe action against erring firm which might result to compensation to be awarded to the consumer.
Report by Dr. Orhan Emre Konuralp
Bilkent University Faculty of Law Research Assistant
Turkish Court of Cassation Decided that Attorney Contracts Are Defined as Consumer Transaction under Certain Circumstances
13th Chamber of the Turkish Court of Cassation decided that contract between client and attorney is consumer contract, if the dispute, for which the mandate is given, is a consumer dispute. As a result of this decision, from now on attorneys are identified as service providers and clients are identified as consumers for this kind of disputes. Therefore, disputes arising from attorney contracts need to be solved as consumer disputes.
Under Turkish law, main legal ground for consumer law is Consumer Protection Act (Nr. 6502). According to 3rd article of the Act, supplier is described as: “a real person or legal entities including the public legal entities offering services or acting on behalf or on account of those offering services to the consumer for commercial or professional purposes.” According to same article, consumer is described as: “a real person or legal entity acting for non-commercial or non-professional purposes.” Additionally, the Act describes consumer transaction as: “all kinds of contracts and legal procedures including the contract of work, transport, brokerage, insurance, mandate, banking and similar contracts established between consumers and real persons or legal entities, including the public legal entities, acting for commercial or professional purposes or on behalf or on account of such, in the goods and service markets.” As it can be easily inferred, Turkish Consumer Protection Act has a very wide range of application.
These wide definitions lead some disagreements for determining of a contract as a consumer contract or not. One of these disagreements was about the contracts between clients and attorneys. To find a common legal solution for this problem, Regional Court of Appeal of Ankara applied to the Court of Cassation. The 35th article of the Law on Establishment, Duties and Jurisdiction of First Instance Courts and Regional Courts of Appeal (Nr. 5235) provides a legal ground to the Court of Cassation to render a verdict, even if there is not a concrete case, upon request of regional courts of appeal. After this application, 13th Chamber of the Court of Cassation decided that as long as the case that brought before a court is a consumer transaction, all disputes arising from the contract between client and attorney are consumer disputes. In other words, if a consumer hires an attorney for a case that s/he involves in, this relationship between consumer and lawyer constitutes a new consumer transaction. On the contrary, if any of the parties of the main case is not a consumer, the relationship between disputed party and attorney could not be defined as a consumer transaction.
This decision has particularly important effect, after a dispute arises from the attorney contract because under Turkish law consumer disputes are subjected to a special dispute resolution system. If amount of dispute is higher than 8.480 TL (which equals to 1.500 US Dollars by August 2019), consumer courts have jurisdiction over this dispute. However, if the amount does not exceed this specified limit, consumer arbitral tribunals have jurisdiction.
Report by Professor Jason Kilborn
UIC John Marshall Law School
First, the state of Illinois (where Chicago is) just last week adopted an interesting new consumer debtor protection law that makes two limited but unique changes to state law: 1) the statutory interest rate accruing on “consumer debt judgments” under $25,000 is now subject to an exception from the normal 9% rate–for debts “primarily for personal, family, or household purposes,” the post-judgment interest rate is reduced to 5%, and 2) the lifetime of a consumer debt judgment is limited to 17 years, rather than the usual 27 years. Both of these changes are very small and will likely have little salutary effect (neither the consumer credit industry nor the collections industry put up any fuss at all during the bill’s consideration), but it’s notable whenever the little people score a small victory in the US.
Second, to clarify the kinds of issues just mentioned (the lifetime of judgments, post-judgment interest, etc.) and the panoply of issues arising in the money judgment enforcement (and defense) process, I’ve just published a little book, Eyes on the Prize: Procedures and Strategies for Collecting Money Judgments and Shielding Assets (2019), Carolina Academic Press, ISBN 978-1-5310-1606-7 (https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781531016067/Eyes-on-the-Prize). It maybe that judgment enforcement/defense is covered in non-US law schools, but it generally is not covered in the US, and I aimed to change that–and to offer a lay person a nice, detailed overview of the entire process of finding and seizing value (or protecting that value) of judgment debtors. For non-US readers, it offers a glimpse of how different the 50 states’ laws can be, as well as useful orientation within the complex post-judgment process in the US, from asset discovery through bankruptcy.
- NEW BOOKS / ARTICLES TO BE AWARE OF …
Paolo Siciliani, Christine Riefa, Harriet Gamper, “Consumer Theories of Harm: An Economic Approach to Consumer Law Enforcement and Policy Making” Hart Publishing, 2019. It has long been thought that fairness in European Consumer Law would be achieved by relying on information as a remedy and expecting the average consumer to keep businesses in check by voting with their feet. This monograph argues that the way consumer law operates today promises a lot but does not deliver enough. It struggles to avoid harm being caused to consumers and it struggles to repair the harm after the event. To achieve fairness, solutions need to be found elsewhere. Consumer Theories of Harm offers an alternative model to assess where and how consumer detriment may occur and solutions to prevent it. It shows 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. The book provides both theoretical and practical examples of how to combine existing law with economic theory to improve case outcomes. The book shows how public enforcers can move beyond the dominant transparency paradigm to an approach where firms have a positive duty to treat consumers fairly and shape their commercial offers in a way that prevents consumers from making mistakes. Over time, this ‘fairness-by-design’ approach will emerge as the only acceptable way to compete. https://www.bloomsburyprofessional.com/uk/consumer-theories-of-harm-9781509916863/
Hans-W. Micklitz/E. Hondius/Th. Van Mierlo/Th. Roethe (eds.) “The Mothers and Fathers of Consumer Law and Policy in Europe, The foundational Years 1950-1980,” European University Institute, Cadmus 2019. The book owes its origin to the sudden passing away of my mentor and friend Norbert Reich in 2015, the father of the consumer law in Germany. My Dutch colleagues and friends, Ewoud Hondius and Thom van Mierlo pushed me into action. Thanks of the ERC funds I was able to sponsor a conference held in June 2017 on the father and mothers of consumer law in Europe. The idea was to bring together all those who significantly contributed to the development of consumer law in their home countries and in the EU. Nearly everybody we invited made it to our getting together. A round table of observers concluded the conference. The papers and documents should be made available to the public at large. That is why we have opted for an e-book version. The invitees were given rather loose instructions in the form of four open worded questions (see III. Letter of Invitation), the emphasis was laid on free speech, memories and crucial events. In order to keep the particular style of the conference in place, we decided to record the speeches and to transcribe them together with the discussions. Both are publicly accessible the original speeches and the transcripts. http://hdl.handle.net/1814/63766
Jason J. Kilborn, “Eyes on the Prize: Procedures and Strategies for Collecting Money Judgments and Shielding Assets”, The first of its kind in several decades, this concise handbook provides a much-needed modern roadmap to the civil procedure that few talk about and many do not know exists. It charts the metamorphosis by which the caterpillar of a money judgment is transformed into the butterfly of … money. For law students, new practitioners, and interested lay readers, it offers a guidebook survey of the mechanics and strategies for every step of the process of collection—or defending against collection—of a money judgment, including domestication of judgments, debtor and third-party discovery, asset seizure and turnover, property liens and priority battles, homestead and personal property exemptions and asset protection, fraudulent conveyance recovery, and bankruptcy.
Eyes on the
Prize offers a detailed analysis of common,
modern asset classes—bank accounts, wages, business investments and securities,
and intellectual property—and governing federal and state law in three
representative states: New York (traditional), California (innovative), and
Illinois (aggressively modernized), with comments on selected highlights in
other states (Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and others). An accessible,
hands-on resource for reviving the study of post-judgment collections and
defense law in the 21st century, the book concludes with hypothetical practice
exercises and carefully edited statutory appendices to supplement basic courses
in Civil Procedure, Remedies, Bankruptcy, Secured Finance, and other areas of
the law. https://cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781531016067/Eyes-on-the-Prize
Dr. Camilo Alfonso Escobar Mora, “Legal validity in the theory of preventive consumer law in digital advertising.”The theory of preventive consumer law in digital advertising (created by the author of this article) made (included: created) clarity about juridical (including: legal) validity. Both at a general level and at a particular level for digital advertising that the (commercial) company communicates to the consumer. That is to say: it clarified the juridical validity of digital advertising in the consumer relationship (the consumer relationship is the juridical relationship that is formed when one of its parties is an enterprise —mercantile. Commercial— and the other is a consumer). In theory: validity (juridical validity) is the form of law. The form of the law is validity. It is the way in which (the law) is specified in the case. According to the case, in the case and to the extent of the case (tailored to the case). For that reason: the valid case is the form of the law (to the extent of the case —tailored to the case—). https://juridia.co/legal-validity-in-the-theory-of-preventive-consumer-law-in-digital-advertising/;
- CONFERENCES – CALL FOR PAPERS
Call for Abstracts: Teaching Consumer Law Conference
May 29-30, 2020
The Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center, in cooperation with the University of New Mexico School of Law, is organizing its twelfth biennial international teaching consumer law conference. The subject is “Teaching Consumer Law: Back to basics?” The Conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the “City Different,” one of the oldest and most interesting cities in the United States.
The Conference will focus on traditional issues of
consumer law. It is directed primarily toward those currently teaching or
interested in teaching consumer law at the law school or college
level—full-time or as an adjunct. A discussion of a few of our prior
Conferences may be found at:
The 2020 conference will deal with themes such as:
- How do we define consumer law?
- How can we teach the multitude of subjects encompassed within the term “consumer law”?
- What should we emphasize? What should we delete?
- What innovations can or should we bring to the consumer law classroom?
- Do we need more consumer regulation, or less?
- What is the impact in the US of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and how do you teach about the CFPB, particularly in light of the current dismantling of the agency?
- Are there innovative ways to resolve consumer problems, other than the typical court and alternative dispute resolution systems?
- How do we deal with intra-state and intra-national consumer transactions?
- Is online dispute resolution good or bad?
- International consumer law developments and innovations.
- Recent developments in substantive US consumer law.
- The view from the trenches—what do practicing attorneys see as the current consumer law issues.
Papers and presentations, which do not require a formal paper, are invited on any of the above themes, or any other topic related to the teaching of consumer law. Proposed topics may discuss the law of any jurisdiction; however, the emphasis is on topics of interest to law school professors and those with an interest in entering academia.
Those who wish to submit a paper or presentation topic are invited to forward a proposal including a brief abstract of no longer than 400 words, and contact information for the author. The proposals should be sent to Professor Richard M. Alderman at [email protected]. Proposals for papers or presentations should be submitted no later than 31 January 2020. Authors will be promptly notified of acceptance. Final drafts of the papers that are to be included in the Conference materials are to be forwarded not later than the 15th of May 2020.
The language of
the conference is English. Conference registration fees will be waived for all
presenters. Selected papers will be published in the Journal of Consumer and
Commercial Law, http://www.jtexconsumerlaw.com.
YOUR IACL Newsletter January 2018
WELCOME to all and a very happy New Year
It is a great pleasure to re-introduce the IACL newsletter. This newsletter is a way for members to stay connected and aware of what is happening across the world in between our international conferences.
Please do circulate it to any new person you think may want to take part in our activities and become a member. Please feel free to also send your news items via email to [email protected]. The newsletter will come out every three months. For any items that may not be able to wait that long, you can contact us to post on our website or our facebook page (see below).
Christine Riefa, on behalf of the IACL board.
- News from the Association
- News from the Jurisdictions
- Book announcements
- Conferences/ Journals – call for papers
NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATION
Welcome to our new board members elected in Brazil
Gail Pearson, the previous president has stepped down and the Board has asked her to remain a Board member until the next election likely to take place at the 17th International Conference to be held in 2019. Thereafter, she is likely to become a member of the Advisory Board to the IACL, together with previous presidents and founding members. The General Assembly in Porto Alegre confirmed her position as a member of the Board and thanked her for her efforts in the past years.
Michelle Kelly-Louw, previously the vice-president, was nominated to replace Gail as President for the next two years. The majority of members of the Board agreed (mostly via e-mail) prior to the IACL Conference, and she was subsequently during the General Assembly in Porto Alegre appointed as the President.
Marco Loos, one of the Board members, was nominated as Vice-President for the next two years. The majority of members of the Board agreed (mostly via e-mail) prior to the IACL conference, and he was subsequently during the General Assembly in Porto Alegre appointed as the Vice-President.
Monika Jozon is thanked for serving as a member of the board. She is replaced by Mateja Durovic. At the board meeting Mateja Durovïc was nominated to serve as a board member by Claudia Marques and Sebastián Barocelli. The rest of the board, in so far as present at the meeting, agreed with the nomination and during the subsequent election he has been appointed as a member of the Board.
The rest of the Board members remain on the Board for the next two years.
Next IACL international conference awarded to…
This year we had three fantastic and equally exciting bids to host the International Association of Consumer Law’s 2019 Conference. We received bids from Indianapolis, Macau and Hamburg. We thank all bidders.
The bid was won narrowly by Indianapolis. The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis under the leadership of Professor Jim Nehf, will host the International Association of Consumer Law’s 17th International Conference. We congratulate Prof Jim Nehf and his winning team! It is the first time that this conference will be held in North America and we look forward to an exciting conference.
The exact dates for the conference and the call for papers will be posted in due course.
Follow us on Facebook
We now have a facebook page to keep you posted. Follow us! Please see our Facebook page for exciting news and updates https://www.facebook.com/IACLaw/
Contact us through the page to post your own announcements about what is happening in your jurisdiction. And of course, our website is still available for your to consult, despite some recent teething problems. Our thanks to those working behind the scene to keep it going. https://www.iacl.net.au
- NEWS FROM THE JURISDICTIONS
Ashok Patil: Launch of a new online ADR programme
The Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC, National Law School of India University) has launched a programme, which provides a platform for online mediation to resolve consumer disputes.
The parties are initially allowed to negotiating on resolving the dispute. If on completion of 7 days they have not been able to reach a settlement, a neutral third-party will be appointed to reach a settlement over another 23 days. A settlement agreement will be final and binding between the parties. The benefits include low costs to both parties, easy accessibility as it online and at any time without delays and neutrality.
The pilot project is tailored for sale disputes with e-Commerce companies and the analysis of mediation performance metrics will be used to further enhance the process.
Rodica Diana Apan: The Romanian law regarding the insolvency of the natural person will come into force on 1 January 2018, and not 1 August 2017, as it was at the last postponement.Please find below the link to an article entitled “A New Perspective on Insolvency – the Procedure Applicable to the Debtor who is a Natural Person (I)” published in the Curentul Juridic Review no.1/2017:http://revcurentjur.ro/old/arhiva/attachments_201701/recjurid171_9F.pdf
A new law on marketing was adopted 3 May 2015 (law No. 426). It entered into force on 1 July 2017. The purpose of this revision was to ensure compliance with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.
Sebastian Barocelli: The conclusion and recommendations of the Mar Del Plata conference are available in Spanish on the IACL website. Visit, https://www.iacl.net.au/news/
New research carried for BEUC shows that there are significant obstacles to cross border e-commerce and the protection of consumers. For more on those issues, see: http://www.beuc.eu/publications/european-consumers-face-significant-hurdles-when-shopping-online-outside-eu-new/html
US Congress Strikes down Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ban on Class Action Arbitration Clauses
In July 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new rule banning companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses to deny groups of people their day in court. Many consumer financial products like credit cards and bank accounts have arbitration clauses in their contracts that prevent consumers from joining together to sue their bank or financial company for wrongdoing. By forcing consumers to give up or go it alone – usually over small amounts – companies could sidestep the court system, avoid big refunds, and continue harmful practices. The CFPB’s new rule would have deterred wrongdoing by restoring consumers’ right to join together to pursue justice and relief through group lawsuits.
Before issuing the rule, the CFPB engaged in extensive research for over five years and produced a report that exceeded 700 pages, documenting the Bureau’s findings and its rationales for the rule. In response, many Republicans in Congress and the Dept. of the Treasury and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency— both federal agencies— issued reports that falsely claimed that the new rule would impose an undue burden on companies and increase the cost of credit to consumers. Ultimately, the Senate took a vote to decide whether to revoke the rule, which resulted in a 50-50 split. Vice-President Pence broke the tie and, as expected, voted to repeal the rule.
This was a huge defeat for consumers and the CFPB.
Brexit is now gathering pace and a Parliamentary inquiry under the EU Justice Sub-Committee has been launched to look into Brexit in relation to consumer protection rights. It is estimated that around 90 pieces of legislation make up the body of EU law designed to protect consumers and the UK’s departure from the EU cast doubt over the continued application of this significant body of EU law that protects the consumer rights of millions of people in the UK. The latest oral evidence was given by the Executive Director of Strategy and Competition of the Financial Conduct Authority. The final oral evidence was concluded in October 2017 and this stage of the inquiry has now concluded and a report is in preparation.
Forthcoming developments in Consumer Credit and Financial Services Law in Australia
In recent years, Australia has experienced significant changes in the laws designed to protect consumer credit and financial services consumers, and there is no sign that the pace of change is abating. A few of the recent reviews and proposed future developments are described below.
The proposed merger of Ombudsman schemes into a new Australian Financial Complaint Authority.
Businesses who provide financial and credit products and services to consumers have long been obliged (as a licence condition) to belong to an external dispute resolution scheme that has been approved by the financial services regulator ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission). Since 2009, following mergers and consolidation in the sector, there has been only two ASIC approved schemes – the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO). There is also a statutory based scheme, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), which has jurisdiction over disputes about the decisions or conduct of a trustee of a regulated superannuation fund and other matters.
An independent review of dispute resolution in the financial services sector took place earlier this year. The final report acknowledged that the current framework generally provides low cost, speedy and flexible access to redress. However, the report raised concerns about, among other things, the costs and confusion associated with having multiple schemes, the monetary limits and compensation caps, access by small businesses, the efficiency of the resolution of superannuation disputes, gaps and overlaps in the coverage of the schemes.
The review therefore recommended that a new single EDR body be established to handle all financial complaints, replacing FOS, CIO and the SCT. The review also recommended an increase in monetary limits and compensation caps, higher limits and caps for small business disputes, and changes to strengthen accountability and oversight.
The Government accepted all the recommendations of the Review, and legislation to establish the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority was tabled in Parliament on 14 September 2017.
However, the Putting Consumers First report from the Senate Economic Legislation Committee, released on 17 October, suggests that the path to the new AFCA may not be so easy. The Labor (Opposition) members of the Committee has indicated that they did not support the proposal to abolish the SCT, on the basis that this proposal would weaken protections and outcomes for consumers.
Addressing credit card over-commitment
Consumer groups and others have been concerned about credit card overcommitment for some time. Although Australia introduced new responsible lending obligations in 2009, it has been argued that these have not worked well for a subset of credit card customers, who ‘incur very high interest charges on a persistent basis because of the inappropriate selection and provision of credit cards as well as certain patterns of credit card use’.
- Tighten responsible lending obligations for credit card contracts, including by requiring that the unsuitability of a credit card contract or credit limit increase for a consumer be assessed according to whether the consumer could repay an amount equivalent to the credit limit of the contract within a period determined by ASIC;
- Prohibit unsolicited credit limit increase offers;
- Simplify the calculation of interest charges under credit card contracts, including by prohibiting retrospective imposition of interest charges on a balance that had the benefit of an interest free period; and
- Allowing customers to request a credit limit reduction or termination online.
Australian Consumer Law Review
In 2010, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) came into force (as a schedule to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)). The ACL introduced changes to the generic consumer law, including a new prohibition against unfair terms in consumer contracts, and a new consumer guarantees regime for products and services (replacing an implied terms regime for dealing with quality issues).
For financial services, the ACL provisions are largely mirrored in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth). One exception that the consumer guarantee provisions have not been included in the ASIC Act, leaving financial services governed by an implied terms regime. (On the other hand, consumer financial services are heavily regulated in terms of disclosure, conduct and advice by chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth)).
The ACL was reviewed in 2016-17, with the Final Report of the Review released in April 2017. Some of the changes proposed in the review will affect financial services, including proposals to increase the maximum penalties for non-compliance (up to $10 million for a corporation), remove the exemption of insurance contracts from the unfair contract terms provisions, clarify that the ASIC Act provisions apply to financial products, as well as financial services, and increase the monetary threshold in the definition of ‘consumer’ from $40,000 to $100,000.
The Review stopped short of recommending the introduction of a general prohibition against unfair trading, but instead proposed to explore in future work how an unfair trading prohibition could be adopted within the Australian context to address potentially unfair business practices.
The Review Report was considered at a meeting of the relevant Commonwealth and State Ministers in August 2017, at that meeting, Ministers agreed for some changes to the ACL to be progressed as soon as possible (including an increase in the maximum penalties), and for other changes to be the subject of regulatory impact assessment. To date, no legislation to amend the ACL has been tabled.
But that is not all …
The above examples represent only the tip of the iceberg of recent reviews and consultations relevant to consumer credit and financial services. Others include:
- The 2017 Review of the Code of Banking Practice, which has recommended major changes in the structure, wording and content of the Code, see the Final Report of the Code Review, the Report of the Review of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee, and the industry’s response to the recommendations. The industry has also agreed to include in the revised Code new provisions to deal with concerns about the sale of consumer credit insurance.
- Proposals from the 2014 Financial System Inquiry to introduce a new product design and distribution obligation for financial services providers, and to give ASIC a product intervention power. Earlier this year, the Government consulted on draft proposals to implement these recommendations.
- Various reviews and inquiries into the banking and finance sectors, following public outcry about bank conduct in relation to financial planning, investment, life insurance, and insurance. These include an ongoing review of the four major banks by the House Economics Committee; and a review of consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector by the Senate Standing Committee on Economics. The Government has also recently introduced legislation to impose an enhanced accountability framework for authorised deposit-taking institutions and their directors and senior executives.
- A review of ASIC’s enforcement regime, which has included consultation on ASIC’s licensing powers and its power to ban senior financial sector officials, and on industry codes of conduct.
- A review of provisions in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) that target small amount credit contracts. This Final Report of the review recommended the retention of the price cap for SACCs; the introduction of a protected earnings cap for all SACC customers; a continued ban on loans with a term of less than 15 days; a requirement that default fees not exceed their actual costs; and the introduction of a price cap for consumer leases. The Government has accepted most of the recommendations of the review, and exposure draft legislation to implement the changes was released for consultation on 23 October 2017.
It is safe to say that for those interested in consumer protection in the Australian credit and financial services sector, the coming months and years are likely to provide plenty of law reform material to review and comment upon.
- NEW BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF …
Christine Riefa, Consumer protection and online auction platforms, towards a safer legal framework. The book spans many current e-commerce issues including the liability of intermediaries and has just been re-edited in a paperback collection. https://www.routledge.com/Consumer-Protection-and-Online-Auction-Platforms-Towards-a-Safer-Legal/Riefa/p/book/9780754677109
United States Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report 2015-2016
This 403 page Survey Report publishes the results of the United States Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey for 2015-2016. The only national survey of Consumer Law practitioners in the United States and its Territories since 1999, the data has been used by state and federal courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the American Arbitration Association to determine reasonable Consumer Law hourly fee rates, resulting in more than $7.9 million in awards across the United States.
Attorneys in every state and the U.S. Territories took part in this national peer-reviewed survey of Consumer Law attorneys and their law practice economics.
The Survey Report provides detailed data for the entire United States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 98 greater metropolitan areas. From Cape Coral, Florida to Eugene, Oregon, from San Diego, California to Hartford, Connecticut, and points in between, this survey provides lower quartile, average and median, and upper quartile hourly rates for attorneys, paralegal fee rates, and rates by years in practice, degree of niche specialization, and more.
Available as a free pdf book download from the National Consumer Law Center, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney web site or directly from its internet link: http://tinyurl.com/USAtyFeeSurvey
- CONFERENCES/ JOURNALS – CALL FOR PAPERS
Call for papers: International Journal on Consumer Law and Practice (IJCLP) VOL VI (2018)
The Board of Editors now invites submissions for the fourth volume of IJCLP which is to be launched in 2018 on varied issues of National and International issues on Consumer Protection Laws. Contributions from academicians, practitioners, students of law and allied fields are all welcome.
Submissions can be made under the following heads:
- Articles and Research papers (4,000-5,000 words incl. of foot notes)
- Essay (3,000-4,000 words incl. of foot notes)
- A Note (2,500 words incl. of foot notes)
- A Case Comment, Legislative Briefs (2,500-3,000 words incl. of foot notes)
- A Book Review (2,000 words incl. of foot notes)
Please submit your written contribution addressed as follows:
Prof (Dr) Ashok R Patil, Chief Editor, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, Nagarbhavi Circle, Bengaluru 560072
Please also email your contribution in a MS word format along with a covering letter to following: [email protected]
Your email must be received on or before 31st May 2018.
Please be aware of the following:
- The cover letter should include: (i) Title of the paper; (ii) abstract (max. 250 words); (iii) name of the author (if co-authored: full details of all authors); (iv) designation; (v) institutional affiliation; (vi) correspondence address, (vii) along with CD
- The article should contain a disclaimer to the effect that the submitted work is original and is not being published or under consideration for publication elsewhere
- All citations should be place in footnotes and in accordance with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th Ed)
- All submission will go through an initial round of review by the editorial board and selected pieces will subsequently be sent for peer-review before finalisation for publication
Call for Papers: 2018 Teaching Consumer Law Conference
The tenth biennial international Teaching Consumer Law Conference is to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the 18th-19th May 2018. The subject is: “Teaching Consumer Law: Where Have We Been – Where Are We Going?”.
The 2018 Conference will focus on traditional issues of consumer law in the context of significant changes in technology, privacy and social media.
Papers and presentations are invited on any of the below themes or any other topic related to the teaching of consumer law:
- How increased use of social media can be integrated into a consumer law course
- What innovations can or should be brought to the consumer law classroom to reflect popular culture?
- Do we need more consumer regulation, or less?
- What is the impact in the US of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and how do you teach about the CFPB?
- Are there innovative ways to resolve consumer problems other than the typical court and ADR systems?
- How do we deal with intra-state and intra-national consumer transactions?
- Is online dispute resolution good or bad?
- How can the multitude of subjects encompassed within the term “consumer law” be taught – what should be emphasised and what should be deleted?
- International consumer law developments and innovations
- Recent developments in substantive US consumer law
- What do practicing attorneys see as the current consumer law issues?
The topics may discuss the law of any jurisdiction but the emphasis is on topics of interest to law school professors and directed at those currently teaching or interested in teaching consumer law at law school or college level.
If you wish to submit a paper or presentation topic, please forward a proposal to following:
Prof Richard M Alderman: [email protected]
Please include a brief abstract (max. 400 words) and contact information for the author.
Proposals must be submitted no later than 15th January 2018.
Please be aware of the following:
- Authors will be promptly notified of acceptance
- Final drafts of papers to be included in the Conference materials to be forwarded no later than 1st May 2018
- The language of the Conference is English
- Conference registration fees will be waived for all presenters
- Some scholarships available for travel and room costs
- Selected papers will be published in the Journal of Consumer and Commercial Law, http://www.jtexconsumerlaw.com
 The Australian Government the Treasury (2017) Credit cards: improving consumer outcomes and enhancing competition (Consultation Paper, May 2017), 1.