Draft Consumer Rights Bill announced

The consumer protection law regime in the UK is currently fragmented and set out in different pieces of legislation. Proposals for reform have been mooted since 2009. In 2011, the government set out plans for a wholesale reform of the consumer protection landscape that was intended to update consumer protection law and place it in a single piece of legislation: the Consumer Rights Bill (CRB). It was intended that this would also implement the Consumer Rights Directive.

It was announced in the Queen’s speech that the CRB will be published during this parliament. Although a draft did not accompany the announcement, the background briefing notes give some indication as to what it will contain.

The CRB will undoubtedly be a significant piece of legislation but it now looks most unlikely to be a single repository for consumer protection law. It is doubtful that it will come into force in time to implement the Consumer Rights Directive, part of which has already been enacted by the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 and the rest of which must be implemented by 13 June 2014. The Consumer Rights Directive will now almost certainly be implemented by way of secondary legislation…

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