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Unfair Contract Terms in the Digital Age
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Unfair Contract Terms in the Digital Age

The Challenge of Protecting European Consumers in the Online Marketplace

9781800886162 Edward Elgar Publishing
Caterina Gardiner, Assistant Professor, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80088 616 2 Extent: 240 pp
Since the introduction of the European Unfair Contract Terms Directive (UCTD) there have been far-reaching developments in the digital landscape which have significantly altered the nature of consumer contracts. This timely book examines the changes that have taken place since the advent of the UCTD and analyses the challenges that they pose for consumers entering online standard form contracts today.

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Contents
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Since the introduction of the European Unfair Contract Terms Directive (UCTD), there have been far-reaching developments in the digital landscape which have significantly altered the nature of consumer contracts. This timely book examines the changes that have taken place since the advent of the UCTD and analyses the challenges that they pose for consumers entering online standard form contracts today.

Illuminating the ways in which digital technology has revolutionised markets and caused a growing number of traders to transition to online business models, Unfair Contract Terms in the Digital Age assesses how the modern contracting landscape adversely impacts consumers. Chapters explore the manifold risks of digitalisation, addressing issues from the lack of transparency of website terms and conditions to the new reach of mass market operators exerting control over European consumers. Against the backdrop of this digital transformation, the book evaluates the key features of the UCTD, questioning whether the Directive can adequately protect Europe’s online consumers and counter the perils of unfair terms in standard form contracts.

This cutting-edge book is an invaluable resource for scholars and students of consumer law, regulation, and public policy. Policy-makers in EU institutions will also benefit from its assessment of unfair terms law in the digital era.
Critical Acclaim
‘An excellent, timely and thought-provoking piece of scholarship which provides an essential and very welcome addition to the consumer law library.’
– James Devenney, University of Reading, UK

‘Unfair Contract Terms in the Digital Age offers an excellent critical perspective on adaptation and suitability of the impactful rules on unfair contract terms to respond to the challenges brought by digitalisation of the market. A must-read for every consumer, contract and digital law scholar and practitioner.’
– Mateja Durovic, King’s College London, UK

‘Besides a thorough basis for the study of unfair terms legislation in Europe, and arguments for the improvement thereof, this book offers valuable insights in how the underdeveloped transparency requirement could fulfill a pivotal role in protecting online consumers.’
– Marco Loos, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

‘Building on an insightful and clear explanation of the law of unfair terms in the online context, this work proposes practical ways to make the legal controls more effective and consistently applied.’
– Geraint Howells, University of Manchester, UK
Contents
Contents: Introduction to Unfair Contract Terms in the Digital Age PART I STANDARD FORM CONTRACTS AND ‘UNFAIRNESS’ UNDER THE UCTD 1. Standard form consumer contracts: the background and context 2. The UCTD: background and scope 3. Unfairness under the UCTD and recommendations for a more uniform European Standard PART II THE UCTD AND TRANSPARENCY IN ONLINE CONTRACTS 4. The transparency principle of the UCTD 5. Transparency and the online consumer PART III ENFORCEMENT UNDER THE UCTD AND SUGGESTIONS FOR A REVISED EU-LEVEL APPROACH 6. Enforcement under the UCTD: challenges and limitations 7. The CPC Network and a positive enforcement approach Bibliography Index
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