Date of this Version

November 2000

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

McCabe, Bernard (2000) The development of consumerism and the regulation of unfair and restrictive trade practices. The National Legal Eagle, November 2000, pp. 7-9.

Copyright ©The Law Society of New South Wales , 2000.

Reproduced with permission.



Millions of consumer transactions occur every day. Consumers buy goods from supermarkets, department stores, boutiques, restaurants and corner stores. They buy services from doctors, lawyers, plumbers and internet service providers. The law regulating these transactions affects every consumer and business trader.

The law regulating commercial and consumer transactions has two objectives. First, it aims to protect the consumer from exploitation by unscrupulous businesses traders. Consumer protection laws require higher standards of fairness and openness when traders deal with consumers. Restrictive trade practices legislation attacks monopolies and promotes competition. Modern commercial law also provides consumers with more remedies where abuses occur. Secondly, the law aims to make commercial and consumer transactions easier and cheaper for consumers and business traders. By passing laws that streamline transactions, parliaments help to promote the supply of a larger range of goods and services to consumers at lower cost.



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