The Unfair Contract Terms Directive Meaning and further Development

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Ola Svensson


The harmonisation of consumer law in Europe has been an important objective within the EU. Efforts have focused not only on improving the functioning of the internal market, but also on securing a high level of consumer protection in the Member States. With regard to consumer contracts, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive has come to play a key role, not least due to the case law of the European Court of Justice in this area in recent years. This article examines the need for an unfairness test of standard contracts and argues that the directive can be expanded to also include individually negotiated contract terms, and terms that relate to the main subject matter of the contract, the adequacy of the price, and changed circumstances. Such amendments would result in a greater correspondence between EU law and Swedish and Nordic law. Although full harmonisation is not possible in the short term, I will argue that a revision should point in this direction.  However, I will begin my account with a presentation of the directive and how it has been implemented in Swedish law.


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