Consumer Protection and Social Models of Continental and Anglo-American Contract Law and the Transnational Outlook

Andreas Maurer
LL.M. candidate
Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

Debates over the content of recent EU directives and U.S. statutory amendments related to consumer protection highlight the importance of such regulation. Criticism calling for a return to freedom of contract in both regions reflects a tension between social ideals related to equality between private parties, and a deep distrust of state intervention and market regulation. With the rise of private sources for transnational commercial standards and practices, there is an opportunity for states to facilitate self-regulation in lieu of producing public substantive regulations. This approach seems to satisfy a well-established need for consumer protection without exacerbating government intervention in private contracts.

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