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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