UK and Unfair Contract Terms Reforms
The Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission for England and Wales have opened a consultation on proposals to protect consumers from unfair terms hidden in small print. This addresses 2 key areas; firstly, the price and main subject matter exemption under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, which implements the EU Directive on the matter, and secondly, a review of recommendations made in the 2005 Report on Unfair Terms in Contracts and whether they remain appropriate. Professor Hector McQueen, Scottish Law Commissioner said "We are proposing a new approach to unfair terms which would assist consumers and traders alike. First, it would protect consumers from being caught out by unpleasant surprises such as unexpected charges. Secondly, by requiring terms relating to price or the main subject matter to be in plain, intelligible language, legible and readily available to the consumer, and presented in such a way that the average consumer would be aware of them, it would help to prevent honest traders from losing out to their more unscrupulous counterparts".