The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive is the most important directive in the field of trade practices to have emerged from the EC but it builds upon European activity which has sought to regulate trade practices on both a sectoral and horizontal level. It is an umbrella provision, which uses general clauses to protect consumers. How effective this approach is and how it relates the existing acquis are fundamental issues for debate. This work provides a critical appraisal of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive linking discussion of it to general debates about how fair trading should be regulated. It explains how the Directive fits into the existing acquis. It also examines national traditions where these are necessary to explain the European approach, as in the case of general clauses. The book will be a valuable tool for any student of consumer law seeking to understand the thinking behind the directive and how it will affect national laws. It will also influence policy makers by suggesting how the directive should be interpreted and what policy lies behind its formulation. Businesses and their advisers will use the book as a means of understanding the new regulatory climate post-the directive.
Geraint Howells is Professor of Law at Manchester University, UK and Barrister Gough Squre Chambers, UK. He has written widely on consumer law issues and his books include: Consumer Product Safety, (Ashgate, 1998); Consumer Protection Law , (2nd Edition, Ashgate, 2005); and EC Consumer Law, (Ashgate, 1997). He frequently acts as consultant for organisations such as the European Commission, DTI and NCC and is a member of the European Consumer Law Group. He is currently editor of the Yearbook of Consumer Law and Markets and Law series for Ashgate publishers. Hans-W. Micklitz is Jean Monnet Chair of Private Law and European Economic Law at the University of Bamberg, Germany and Head of the Institute of European and Consumer Law (VIEW). His work includes: studies of law and sociology in Mainz, Lausanne/Geneva, Giessen and Hamburg; consultancies for OECD in Paris, UNEP Geneva Switzerland/Nairobi Kenya and CI (Consumers International) as well as study visits at the University of Michigan, USA. Miclitz is also Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute Florence, Italy and visiting professor at the University of Oxford. He has been head of the Scientific Committee on Consumer and Nutrition Policy at the Ministry of Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture since 2003. Dr Thomas Wilhelmsson is Professor of Civil and Commercial Law at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is Vice-rector of the University and in charge of international affairs. Professor Wilhelmsson has published law books and articles in twelve languages. His main books in English are Social Contract Law and European Integration (Ashgate,1995) and EC Consumer Law (with Geraint Howells: Ashgate, 1997). For ten years he was a member of the Finnish Market Court and is actively engaged in commercial arbitration. He is a member of the Commission on European Contract Law (the Lando-Commission) and the Acquis group and has been awarded the title Doctor iuris honoris causa by the Uppsala, Oslo and Tartu Universities.
'This book is a remarkable achievement so soon after the adoption of the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, reflecting the authors' combined expertise in this area. It offers a rigorous analysis of the Directive and its context, and benefits hugely from the different legal backgrounds of the authors. Undoubtedly a key reference point in this field.' Christian Twigg-Flesner, University of Hull, UK 'This book is written by recognized experts in the field and it delivers an astutely judged and clearly written assessment of the likely impact of a Directive that undoubtedly counts as one of the most important and ambitious measures ever adopted by the EU in the field of consumer protection.' Stephen Weatherill, Oxford University, UK 'The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was adopted on 11 May 2005, and the authors have been able to publish a concise and critical commentary on this complex piece of legislation in somewhat over a year later. This is a remarkable achievement, keeping in mind that the deadline for iplementation is 12 June 2007, for application of its provisions from 12 December 2007. Such achievement was only possible by involving the expertise of all three authors who have worked in the field of European Union (EU) and national trade legislation and consumer protection for many years...' Journal of Consumer Policy 'Whether the Directive is good or bad for European consumers remains to be seen, a subject addressed in depth by Geraint Howells...Hans W. Micklitz...and Thomas Wilhelmsson...in their extensively researched book. The authors assess the Directive in its wider European law context and provide keen insight for governments an dprivate parties who will implement the Directive in the coming years.' European Journal of Law Reform