Consumer law reform

The government is currently undertaking the most extensive reform of consumer law in years. The reforms fall into five key categories: implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive into UK law; introduction of the Consumer Rights Bill; addressing misleading and aggressive practices; structural reform of consumer law enforcement institutions; and empowering consumers.

The deadline for the Consumer Rights Directive to be incorporated into national law is December 2013, with the provisions coming into force in June 2014. The Consumer Rights Bill is intended to implement parts of the Consumer Rights Directive (although the bulk of this will be implemented in secondary legislation). The bill, if introduced in its current form, would consolidate a number of existing consumer rights laws into one single legal framework and increase the rights and remedies available to consumers. It would also clarify the powers of enforcers to investigate potential breaches of consumer law; introduce enhanced measures for consumers to achieve redress; and facilitate challenges by consumers and businesses to anti-competitive practices. The draft bill also proposes the introduction of specific rights and remedies for consumers buying digital content…

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