Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law

Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Geraint Howells, Iain Ramsay, Thomas Wihelmsson and David Kraft

Consumer law and policy has emerged in the last half-century as a major policy concern for all nations. This Handbook of original contributions provides an international and comparative analysis of central issues in consumer law and policy in developed and developing economies.

Chapter 8: Sales and Guarantees

Cynthia Hawes and Christian Twigg-Flesner

Subjects: law - academic, consumer law, human rights, international economic law, trade law, politics and public policy, human rights


Cynthia Hawes and Christian Twigg-Flesner 1. Introduction This chapter examines the law of sale of goods and guarantees given on consumer goods. Both sales law and guarantees give consumers a degree of protection against being left with faulty goods by stipulating the circumstances when a retailer and/or manufacturer is legally responsible for rectifying defects. A crucial distinction between sales law on the one hand and guarantees on the other is that guarantees are usually a voluntary undertaking by a retailer or manufacturer, whereas the relevant legal rules relating to sales are imposed and cannot (generally) be avoided. In this chapter, key aspects regarding the law on the sale of goods will be examined first. A basic understanding of the legal concept of ‘sale’ is necessary, and this will be considered first. There will then be a discussion of the quality standard that might be imposed by law, before considering the remedies that could be made available where that standard has not been met. A further issue considered is the difficulties a consumer might face when he has paid for goods and the retailer becomes insolvent before they are delivered. There will then be a discussion of the function of guarantees, and it will be considered to what extent there should be regulation of the substance of guarantees. Of particular concern is the interrelationship between a consumer’s legal rights under sales law and any additional rights granted by a guarantee. 2. Sale of goods 2.1. What is a sale? A sale...

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