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Australia has a detailed and comprehensive consumer protection regime dealing with the supply of goods and services, including financial products, to consumers. Primary legislation is the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), found in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Cth); equivalent provisions in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act) applying to financial services and products; and, for consumer credit, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act). This subject provides students with a detailed knowledge of key features of the consumer protection regimes underlying the supply of goods, services and credit to consumers, along with the common law principles and policy imperatives that underpin these regimes. The lecturers include one of the Law School's private lawyers with specialist expertise in consumer law, and a leading practitioner in this field of law.
Principal topics include:
- Purposes of consumer protection law
- The regulatory toolkit
- Common law doctrines underlying the legislative regime
- Enforcement and remedial strategies.
- Key consumer protection regimes under the ACL, ASIC Act and NCCP Act:
- Misleading or deceptive conduct
- Unconscionable conduct
- Interest rate caps and responsible lending
- The specific regulation of small amount loans
- Unfair contract terms.
- Consumer guarantees and implied terms
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles governing consumer protection law in Australia and the common law doctrines relevant to those regimes
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal regimes
- Be an engaged participant in debates surrounding emerging and contemporary issues in the development of Australian consumer protection law
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving reform of the consumer protection regime in Australia
- Have an advanced understanding of situations in which consumer protection issues may arise in commercial transactions
- Have a detailed understanding of the interaction between common law doctrines and consumer protection legislation
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to effective consumer protection strategies and to critically evaluate existing legal theories and strategies for the protection of consumers
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to effective consumer protection strategies and regimes
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding consumer protection to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, judgment and responsibility in the field of consumer protection law.
Last updated: 3 November 2022