Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law takes stock of the evolution of this fascinating area of private law to date and identifies key themes for future development of the law and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into three parts: first, authors examine a range of cross-cutting issues relevant to both consumer and contract law. The second part discusses specific topics on EU Consumer Law, and the final part focuses on a number of important subjects which remain current for the development of EU Contract Law.

Chapter 9: The consumer image within EU law

Peter Cartwright

Subjects: law - academic, consumer law, european law, law of obligations


This chapter looks at the consumer image within EU law. This consumer image is particularly important in EU law because of its role in establishing a benchmark. This is seen in different contexts, perhaps the most significant of which are: first, when judging whether national provisions are proportionate; and second, when assessing whether commercial communications fall foul of required standards (for example, whether they should be found to be aggressive or misleading for the purposes of unfair commercial practices law). The chosen image says a great deal of what can be expected of traders and of consumers, and as a consequence sheds light on the nature and character of EU consumer law. The aim of this chapter is not to deal exhaustively with the case law and literature; instead, it seeks to provide an overview of the topic and, in particular, to discuss some of the principal policy challenges that are raised. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (hereafter 'The Directive' or UCPD) will be used in particular to illustrate the subject, with reference made to other instruments as appropriate.

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