Legal commentators normally focus on legal developments of which they...
Legal commentators normally focus on legal developments of which they are critical. This is understandable as their time studying an area in depth normally permits them a perspective that is not available to a judge writing a judgment in haste or even legislators trying to reform the law against the background of pressure group interest. This guest editorial is however focusing on the positive development of product safety law at the European level. It will describe the evolution of the law from the first Directive 92/59/EEC on general product safety through a process of refinement in the second Directive 2001/95/EC (refinement) to the present proposed Regulation on Consumer Product Safety and Regulation on Market Surveillance of Products Regulation which offers further refinements and starts to tackle systematically the complex issue of enforcement.
The need for a horizontal General Consumer Product Safety standard at the European level was evident because of the lack of universal coverage of vertical directives and the incomplete nature of some of those directives that did exist, particularly as regards post-marketing duties. The adoption of the first Directive also had the important function of ensuing all Member States had an authority tasked with ensuring consumer product safety.
The Second Directive improved the provisions significantly. The scope was clarified to include products migrating from trade to consumer use and to cover products supplied in the course of a service (this aspect is to be further clarified in the proposed Regulation). In addition the relationship with vertical sectoral directives was clarified. Standards were given an increased role in assessing conformity. An obligation to recall unsafe products was introduced which regulators could impose if necessary. A duty was also imposed on producers to notify the authorities if any of their products are unsafe.
Juristische Kommentatoren richten ihr Augenmerk üblicherweise auf...
Juristische Kommentatoren richten ihr Augenmerk üblicherweise auf Rechtsentwicklungen, die sie für kritikwürdig halten. Dies ist nachvollziehbar, da die Muße der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit in einem Fachgebiet Einblicke ermöglicht, die einem Richter, der unter Zeitdruck ein Urteil abfassen muss, oder einem Gesetzgeber, der sich dem Druck von Interessengruppen ausgesetzt sieht, verwehrt sind. Dieser Gastbeitrag behandelt jedoch eine positive Entwicklung im europäischen Produktsicherheitsrecht. Der Beitrag zeichnet die Rechtsentwicklung nach von der ersten Richtlinie über die allgemeine Produktsicherheit (92/59/EWG) über einen Prozess der Präzisierung in der zweiten Richtlinie (2001/95/EG) bis zu den aktuellen Vorschlägen für eine Verordnung über die Sicherheit von Verbraucherprodukten und eine Verordnung über die Marktüberwachung von Produkten, die weitere Präzisierungen mit sich bringen und erstmals systematisch das komplexe Thema der Rechtsdurchsetzung in Angriff nehmen.
Der Bedarf für eine horizontale europäische Regelung im Bereich der Sicherheit von Verbraucherprodukten lag auf der Hand, angesichts des eingeschränkten Anwendungsbereichs und der Lückenhaftigkeit der vertikalen Richtlinien, insbesondere im Bereich der Produktbeobachtungspflichten. Mit dem Erlass der ersten Richtlinie wurde zugleich sichergestellt, dass alle Mitgliedstaaten über eine Behörde verfügen, die für die Gewährleistung der Sicherheit von Verbraucherprodukten zuständig ist.
Durch die zweite Richtlinie wurden die Regelungen deutlich verbessert. Der Anwendungsbereich wurde dahingehend konkretisiert, dass auch Produkte erfasst werden, die aus dem professionellen Bereich in den Verbrauchermarkt wandern, sowie solche Produkte, die im Zusammenhang mit einer Dienstleistung geliefert werden (dieser Aspekt sollte im Verordnungsvorschlag weiter konkretisiert werden). Klarstellungen erfolgten auch hinsichtlich des Konkurrenzverhältnisses zu den vertikalen Richtlinien. Die Bedeutung technischer Normen für die Bestimmung der Konformität wurde gestärkt. Eingeführt wurde ferner eine Pflicht zum Rückruf unsicherer Produkte, der bei Bedarf von den Regulierungsbehörden angeordnet werden kann. Darüber hinaus wurden die Hersteller verpflichtet, den Behörden unsichere Produkte anzuzeigen.
This paper looks at the effectiveness...
This paper looks at the effectiveness and usefulness of establishing a self-regulatory entity (SRE) in the advertising sector. In different countries one finds different forms of this type of institution. It may play a role in ensuring that misleading and aggressive advertisements are stopped and furthermore deal with questions of taste and decency of certain advertisements. Taking a broad view, an SRE can be classified as a law enforcement mechanism, the existence of which may be crucial to induce advertisers to law-abiding compliant behaviour. This paper will present a comparative legal analysis of various European SREs within a law and economics framework.
On 2 October 2103 the Commission published a communication on national...
On 2 October 2103 the Commission published a communication on national regulations on access to the professions. The aim of the communication is to set out how Member States should take the obligations stemming from the revised Professional Qualifications Directive forward. This will entail each Member State listing and describing the professions they regulate (including those activities which are reserved to qualified professionals) and explaining why regulation is necessary. The mapping process is to take place in two phases or clusters:
The mapping will begin with the first cluster in November 2013 and is expected to finish with the second cluster in November 2014. A mutual evaluation process, whereby Member States set out the reasons for their regulation of the professions, will then take place. This will be supported by the Commission, with workshops to encourage states to compare their approaches and share best practices. In parallel, the Commission intends to launch an economic study in the first half of 2014 allowing for comparative case studies to measure in greater detail the benefits for regulating professions, for not regulating them or for opting for different approaches in regulation. Member States should prepare national action plans to reduce entry barriers to professions where they are not required, justified or proportionate. National action plans for each profession shall be submitted to the Commission by June 2015 for the first cluster and January 2016 for the second one.
Finally, between June 2015 and March 2016 the Commission will propose any follow up remedial actions in the light of the action plans received. These actions may include, inter alia, the launch of infringement procedures where discriminatory or disproportionate national requirements are maintained. With respect to the latter requirement, according to Art 59 of the revised Professional Qualifications Directive the proportionality of national measures should be analysed with reference to their suitability to securing the objectives they pursue. They should also not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain these objectives.
Structural deficits and current reform proposals
Introduction, The missing regulation for construction contracts in the...
Introduction, The missing regulation for construction contracts in the BGB, Consumer protection in construction contracts, Influence of European consumer protection law, Proposal by the expert group on construction contract law, Building description, Time for completion, Right of withdrawal, Summary
Commentary on the CJEU 17. 10. 2013 Case C-218/12 (Emrek)...
Commentary on the CJEU 17. 10. 2013 Case C-218/12 (Emrek)
In this case the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that Art 15 Para 1 lit c Brussels I Regulation does not require a causal link between the means employed to direct the commercial or professional activity and the conclusion of contract between the trader and the consumer. The judgment answers a matter of dispute still left open by the CJEU in its decision Joint Cases Pammer/Schlüter and Alpenhof/Heller, but raises new questions, particularly regarding the relationship between the Brussels I Regulation and the Rome I Regulation.
The proposal for a Directive on credit agreements relating to...
The proposal for a Directive on credit agreements relating to residential property was adopted by Parliament at its first reading on 10. 12. 2013. The Directive, which was first proposed in March 2011, is currently awaiting signature. It will come into force soon after its publication in the official journal, starting a process of 2 years during which member States will need to complete its implementation (sometime in 2016).
The Directive aims to create a more uniform market noted in Recital 2 that “there are substantial differences in the laws of the various Member States with regard to the conduct of business in the granting of credit agreements relating to residential immovable property and in the regulation and supervision of credit intermediaries and non-credit institutions providing credit agreements relating to residential immovable property. Such differences create obstacles that restrict the level of cross-border activity on the supply and demand sides, thus reducing competition and choice in the market, raising the cost of lending for providers and even preventing them from doing business.”
One of the key features of the Directive is to reinforce consumer protection. This tightening of rules is clearly anchored in the shift since the financial crisis towards responsible lending and clearly illustrated in Recitals 4 and 5. More stringent protection is achieved through the use of a mixture of measures including prudential rules applicable to the way providers are allowed to reach market. The Directive contains provisions concerning the requirements that will apply to the establishment and supervision of credit intermediaries and appointed representatives (Arts 29–35). Further measures include the control of advertisements for mortgages in Arts 10 and 11. The measures also include a period during which the consumer has time to reflect on the offer before committing to it and/or a period during which it can withdraw from the contract or a combination of the two (Art 14(6)). The length of the period of reflection cannot exceed 10 days in total although the standard length expressed in the Directive is 7 days. It is unclear how a combination of time to reflect and right to withdraw will play out in practice and if so, how long the overall period may be.
A. Sachentscheidungen/Judgments on the merits
A. Sachentscheidungen/Judgments on the merits
– Unlautere Geschäftspraktiken/Unfair Commercial Practices
1. C-281/12 (Trento Sviluppo ea)
2. C-435/11 (CHS Tour Services)
– Missbräuchliche Klauseln/Unfair terms
3. C-413/12 (Asociación de Consumidores Independientes de Castilla y León)
4. C-226/12 (Constructora Principado)
5. C-537/12 (Banco Popular Español) und C-116/13 (Banco de Valencia)
– Verbrauchsgüterkauf/Sale of consumer goods
6. C-32/12 (Duarte Hueros)
– Unlautere Geschäftspraktiken/Unfair commercial practices
7. C-515/12 (4finance)
– Missbräuchliche Klauseln/Unfair terms
8. C-482/12 (Macinský ea)
9. C-470/12 (Pohotovost’)
– Lebensmittelkennzeichnung/food labelling
10. C-809/12 (Ehrmann)
C. Vorabentscheidungsersuchen/Requests for a preliminary ruling
– Missbräuchliche Klauseln/Unfair terms
11. C-602/13 (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria)
12. C-548/13 (Caixabank SA)
Gerhard Dannemann/ Stefan Vogenauer (eds.), The Common European Sales Law in Context. Interactions with English and German law, Oxford University Press (2013) LXVII+789 Pages; ISBN: 978-0-19-967890-7; € 125.
The “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the...
The “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law” [COM (2011) 635 final] has attracted the attention and the interest of many scholars. The book edited by Dannemann and Vogenauer continues in this line, illustrating how important the different projects aimed at harmonizing contract law are to the future of the European legal landscape. Danneman and Vogenauer however seem to dig deeper. The book investigates how a European contract law instrument such as the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) or the proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL) might interact with national legal systems (in particular with English and German law) but also with the other EU Law systems, and serve as a model for law reform. The book presents the results of an Anglo-German network of 38 researchers. Each contribution, co-authored by British and German scholars, goes beyond a critical analysis of CESL and DCFR rules by demonstrating where and how CESL rules would interact with neighbouring areas of law before English and German courts; how domestic traditions might motivate sellers and buyers to choose or reject CESL; and which of the rules might serve as a model for national legislators.
Dannemann and Vogenauer introduce the contributions giving a brilliant overview of the “European contract law initiative” later dissected in chapters 2 to 20 as follows: choice of CESL and conflict of laws (Dannemann); drafting and interpretation of a European contract law instrument (Vogenauer); conceptions of contract (Whittaker/Riesenhuber); non-discrimination an the “constitutionalization of contract law” (Freedland/Lehmann); language of information, contract and communication (Howells/Marten/Wurmnest); pre-contractual duties (Steensgard/Twigg-Flesner); conclusion of contract (Harvey/Schillig); right of withdrawal (Schulze/Morgan); interpretation of contracts (McMeel/Grigoleit); defects in consent (Cartwright/Schmidt-Kessel); control of standard contract terms (Hellwege/Miller); representation (Freitag/Krebs); contract terms in favour of third parties (Burrows/ Busch); transfer of rights and obligations (Beale/Ringe); supervening events (Unberath/McKendrick); obligations of sellers and buyers (Schuller/Zenefels); specific performance and right to cure (MacQueen/Dauner-Lieb/Tettinger); termination, price reduction, and damages (Chen-Wishart/Magnus); control of standard terms and collective proceedings (Devenney/Pfeiffer). The findings are summarized in the final two chapters (respectively by Dannemann and Vogenauer).
Due to obvious space limitations, it is not possible neither to carry out a specific examination of the different issues which are investigated, nor to describe and discuss the interpretation options and the considerations conducted by the authors in the context of the different areas of competence. However, the high quality level of the great majority of the contributions is worthy of notice. Those contributions are not only clear, well-structured and a complete description of the provisions contained in the CESL, but they also contain many highly interesting critical reflections about the different national and European contexts in which this instrument is inserted.
Oxford (UK) 27.–28. 03. 2014
Oxford (UK) 27.–28. 03. 2014
Institute of European and Comparative Law (University of Oxford)
The Image(s) of the “Consumer” in EU Law: Legislation, Free Movement and Competition Law
Bayreuth (DE) 03.–04. 04. 2014
Der Schutz des Verbrauchers bei der Vermögensanlage
Brussels (BE) 07.–08. 04. 2014
ERA (Europäische Rechtsakademie/Academy of European Law)
Reforming EU Data Protection Legislation