Edited by Geraint Howells, Iain Ramsay and Thomas Wilhelmsson
Chapter 18: Enforcing consumer protection laws
This chapter adopts a broad conception of enforcement so as to support an analysis and comparison of the various different mechanisms through which the entitlements and responsibilities ascribed by consumer laws may be vindicated. I start by evaluating the different agents of enforcement for consumer law. Whilst it is right to consider the full array of different agents of enforcement, including consumers, businesses, public agencies and NGOs, it is inevitable that consumer law enforcement is chiefly associated with public agencies of the kind widely established in the second half of the twentieth century. Considering different styles of enforcement in consumer law, the chief focus in this chapter is on public agencies. I conclude by considering the claim that consumer law entered a ‘post-interventionist’ phase in the 1980s and consider the extent to which the implications of this trend for enforcement have been or may be realised today.
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