Chapter 4: The transparency principle of the UCTD
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This chapter explores the transparency principle of the UCTD. It examines the limitations of disclosure duties as a regulatory tool but also notes the importance maintaining the goal of transparency in consumer standard forms. The chapter proceeds to discuss the development of the transparency principle of the UCTD through examining the case law of the CJEU, including analysis on the meaning of 'plain intelligible language'. It notes how this case law has broadened the transparency requirements so that they can now be viewed as encompassing a duty on the supplier to disclose information to enable the consumer to understand the legal and economic consequences of agreeing to the terms and conditions. Nevertheless, the lack of explicit provision in the text of the UCTD itself on the scope and functions of the transparency principle has stood in the way of its full effectiveness and has resulted in disparity of transposition and interpretation at national level. This also has implications for how the transparency requirements of the UCTD are to be applied in the context of online terms and conditions, and results in difficulties for both traders and enforcement bodies as regards compliance and enforcement.

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