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Chapter

Cover Markesinis & Deakin's Tort Law

20. Product Liability  

This chapter begins by tracing the evolution of product liability law in England and America. It then discusses the causes of action and components of liability. Liability evolved from an initial position in which the law of negligence played a minor role in compensating victims of dangerously defective products, thanks largely to the ‘privity of contract fallacy’. Donoghue v. Stevenson put an end to this and ushered in the modern, all-embracing duty of care as far as physical injury and property damage are concerned. With the adoption of Directive 85/374/EEC and its subsequent implementation in the form of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, a form of strict or ‘stricter’ liability based on the American model was incorporated into English law.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Tort Law

6. Product Liability  

Dr Karen Dyer and Dr Anil Balan

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. The chapter discusses the law on product liability. It covers key debates, sample questions, diagram answer plan, tips for getting extra marks, and online resources. To answer questions on this topic, students need to understand the following: the general principles of negligence; the meaning of strict liability; and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and its relationship with the common law regarding consumer protection.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

19. Unconscionable bargains and inequality of bargaining power  

This chapter considers the law on unconscionability and inequality of bargaining power. English law has traditionally been cautious about wholeheartedly adopting such sweeping principles as ‘unconscionability’, preferring instead to avoid unfair outcomes through particular doctrines (for example, misrepresentation, duress, and undue influence). Some contracts may be set aside if they are considered to be an ‘unconscionable bargain’, i.e. if the claimant is ‘poor and ignorant’, the terms of the contract are substantially disadvantageous to the claimant, and the claimant had no independent advice. There is no general principle in English law that a contract can be set aside due to inequality of bargaining power.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

23. European consumer law  

Geraint Howells and Jonathon Watson

This chapter examines EU consumer law. In recent years, international, supranational, and national events alongside technological developments have had and will continue to have a profound effect on EU consumer law. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumption habits which, together with rapid digitalization, have created new challenges and risks for consumers, testing the limits not only of older but also more recent EU consumer legislation in a range of sectors. In this context, this chapter discusses the negative impact of EU law on national consumer protection rules; rules on information duties (including the duty to not mislead) and the right of withdrawal; rules establishing consumer expectations; rules on product safety and product liability; and rules on unfair terms and sale of goods. The chapter also covers EU legislation providing general substantive rights; enforcement of consumer protection rules; and consumers’ right of private redress.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

22. European consumer law  

Geraint Howells

This chapter examines EU consumer law. It discusses the negative impact of EU law on national consumer protection rules; rules on information duties (including the duty to not mislead) and the right of withdrawal; rules establishing consumer expectations; rules on product safety and product liability; and rules on unfair terms and sale of goods. The chapter also covers EU legislation providing general substantive rights; enforcement of consumer protection rules; and consumers’ right of private redress.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

13. Misrepresentation  

This chapter explains the law relating to the requirements and remedies for misrepresentation. The rules that the chapter covers developed originally in the context of all types of contracts. However, more recent legislation has introduced some specific protection for consumers. Consequently, the common law rules and older legislation that the chapter covers are now more applicable to non-consumer contracts, i.e. contracts between businesses and those between private parties. The chapter starts by addressing the kind of false statements that can result in a remedy. It then addresses the common law and legislative remedies that could be available to the innocent party. Finally, the chapter turns to the impact of the more recent consumer legislation before finally examining the extent to which an exemption clause could cover liability for misrepresentation.

Chapter

Cover Land Law

27. Protection of the Borrower  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter reviews the loan contract and the controls that the law has imposed to protect the borrower. The level of protection differs according to the nature of the borrower and the type of security transaction. Market regulation of the residential mortgage market has increased protection for domestic borrowers. Vitiating factors, particularly undue influence, have impacted upon the creation of collateral mortgages of the family home to secure commercial borrowing. Equitable protection has been provided by controls against penalties and oppressive and unconscionable terms, as well as by protection of the borrower’s equity of redemption. Statutory consumer protection now offers more effective protection to domestic borrowers. The common law, equitable, and statutory control mechanisms are then described and applied to demonstrate the protection they afford against particular mortgage terms, for instance to control rates of interest and other costs associated with borrowing.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

7. Exemption Clauses and Unfair Terms  

This chapter assesses exemption clauses and unfair terms. Exemption clauses are terms that either exclude or limit the liability of a party. The law relating to the use of such clauses is a mixture of rules found in both the common law and legislation; the common law rules apply to all contracts. In addition, the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 applies to the use of exemption clauses in contracts between two businesses. For consumers, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides wider protection from unfair terms including exemption clauses. The practical context of exemption clauses is simple. One party will be in breach and so the other will seek compensation for the loss caused by the breach. The party in breach will then defend the action by relying on an exemption clause. The dispute is then about whether or not the clause can be relied upon. The circumstances in which terms might be assessed for being ‘unfair’ can be wider than this. Typically, a business will take action against a consumer following the consumer’s failure to perform an obligation, which will then prompt the consumer to challenge the obligation as based on an unfair term.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

10. Product liability  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. Manufacturers and producers are liable for personal injury or damage to property caused by a defective product. The claimant will not only recover in contract for personal injury and property damage caused by the defective product, but he will also be compensated for the cost of replacing the product itself. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 involves a strict liability regime for defective products on a variety of potential defendants. This chapter discusses the limitations of the tort system in providing compensation to a victim of harm caused by a defective product, and analyses the scope and limitations of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

12. Product liability  

This chapter discusses the ways in which liability for defective products is regulated in tort law and which is primarily regulated by statute. The chapter considers manufacturers’ liability in negligence and the problems claimants may encounter when trying to sue. This leads to a later development relating to product liability—the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987—enacted to ensure better protection of consumers from defective goods by making producers strictly liable for harms caused by the products they market. However, a claimant may still claim in negligence due to the statutory limitations in relation to certain types of claim.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

16. Product liability  

This chapter examines the provisions of tort law concerning product liability. It explains that a defendant can be held liable for a defective product that causes personal injuries or causes damage to property and that the liability for failure to take care in the manufacture of a product causing personal injury was established in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson. The chapter discusses the limitations of the tort of negligence and suggests that, in the majority of cases, claimants should bring their actions for defective products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 because it does not require proof of fault.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

15. Undue Influence, Unconscionability, and Equality of Bargaining Power  

This chapter examines undue influence, which is largely about pressure and influence arising from a relationship. It begins with the basic role of the law on undue influence before moving to the substantive case law. The case law is divided into three categories, which are based on the different ways of proving undue influence. The first relates to what is known as ‘actual undue influence’, which is where a complainant proves undue influence. The second is where undue influence between two parties can be presumed from the circumstances. The third category has been a major problem in modern cases and it involves undue influence coming from a third party. The chapter then turns to the wider issues that complete the ‘bigger picture’. The first of these is the area often referred to as ‘unconscionability’, which is about the exploitation of weakness. The second is the attempt to create a wider ‘inequality of bargaining power’ principle. Finally, the chapter looks at the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices Regulations 2008, which can cover conduct otherwise classed as duress, undue influence, and harassment.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

11. Product liability  

This chapter deals with damage caused by defective products. It considers two separate legal regimes. The first is the ordinary law of negligence, and the second is the system of strict liability introduced by the Consumer Protection Act 1987, as required by a European Directive (85/374/EEC). The latter is limited to personal injuries and to damage to private property, so there are still many cases where a claimant has to rely on negligence. Also, the Act applies only to certain kinds of defendants (‘producers’), and a claimant will need to use negligence if, for example, he is injured by a defectively repaired product. One important point is that both systems apply only to damage to goods other than the defective product and not to damage which the defective product causes to itself: that is a matter solely for the law of contract.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

12. Product liability  

This chapter discusses the ways in which liability for defective products is regulated in tort law and which is primarily regulated by statute. The chapter considers manufacturers’ liability in negligence and the problems claimants may encounter when trying to sue. This leads to a later development relating to product liability—the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987—enacted to ensure better protection of consumers from defective goods by making producers strictly liable for harms caused by the products they market. However, a claimant may still claim in negligence due to the statutory limitations in relation to certain types of claim.

Chapter

Cover Business Law Concentrate

6. Law of torts  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. Tort law is the focus of this chapter. It begins by distinguishing between contractual and tortious liability. It then discusses negligence, common defences to torts, and private nuisance. Negligence involves a breach of a duty to take care, owed in law by the defendant to the claimant, causing the claimant damage. Common defences to torts are illegality, consent, contributory negligence, and necessity. Private nuisance involves unlawful interference with another person’s enjoyment of their land/property which causes the claimant loss (and the loss/damage was reasonably foreseeable). When products cause injury/loss, rather than attempting to claim negligence, a claimant may seek protection through the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987.

Chapter

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

1. Introduction to banking law and regulation  

Iris Chiu and Joanna Wilson

This introductory chapter provides an overview of banking law and regulation. Banking law and regulation covers private commercial law developed through banking custom, standards of good practice, and the common law, which together have a long history of shaping and refining the rights and obligations of banks and their customers. Consumer protection lies at the heart of many banking law and regulatory initiatives, which often seek to address or rebalance the superior bargaining position of banks in the bank–customer relationship. In recent decades, public regulatory sources of law in banking regulation have become multi-layered and complex, ranging from international to European and national regulation. The chapter also describes the nature of the banking business as well as its types and scope.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

20. Good faith  

This chapter considers the principle of good faith. English law has traditionally been cautious about wholeheartedly adopting an overriding principle of good faith preferring instead to avoid unfair outcomes through particular doctrines (for example, misrepresentation, duress, and undue influence). However, the law in this area is developing. It appears that agreements to negotiate in good faith are not enforceable where no contract is yet in place, but, where the parties have already made an agreement, a term (whether express or implied) that the contract should be performed in good faith is enforceable. Similarly, there may be (implied) terms that discretionary powers be exercised in a manner that is not irrational or unreasonable.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

13. Controlling contract terms  

Exclusion clauses, penalties, and consumer protection

This chapter examines how the law regulates contract terms, with particular emphasis on rules that are intended to protect weaker parties. It begins with a discussion of the limits of freedom of contract and proceeds by assessing the role played by formal requirements, such as the requirement that contracts be in writing. It then considers how the law regulates contract terms which seek to alter the liability that one party will have in the event of breach. More specifically, it looks at exclusion clauses in the common law and the statutory regulation of such clauses, along with liquidated damages, contractual remedies, and the rule against penalties. It also explores the extent to which consumer protection law restricts the terms that can be included in consumer contracts, especially when dealing with the problem of unfair terms.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

2. Some Factors Affecting Modern Contract Law  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses factors affecting contract law which will be met in the rest of this book. It can usefully be read both at the beginning and the end of the book. These include continental influence in the nineteenth century; the influence of economic theory; inequality of bargaining power; the use of standard form contracts; consumer protection; the relationship between standard form contracts, inequality of bargaining power, and consumer protection; contractual behaviour; the interrelationship of contract and tort; good faith in contract law; the globalization of contract law; and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

10. Duress, Undue Influence, and Unconscionable Bargains  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter discusses the nature and operation of duress, undue influence, and unconscionable bargains. Duress and undue influence occur where one party to a contract has coerced the other or exercised such domination that the other’s independence of decision was substantially undermined. In the limited category of cases in which the doctrine of unconscionable bargains operates, it is necessary to show not only that the process by which the contract was made was unfair but that there is contractual imbalance, i.e., the doctrine extends to the actual substance of the contract and the fairness of its terms. Conduct which constitutes duress or undue influence by a trader against a consumer may also constitute a ‘prohibited practice’ under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which will give the consumer ‘rights to redress’ under the Regulations.