Unfair contract terms in EU law: Unfair Terms Directive and Common European Sales Law

19-09-2013

Standard terms contracts' are an inevitable part of everyday transactions for both businesses and consumers. Parties using such contracts may, however, rely on their advantageous position in order to impose unfair terms on the other contracting party. This has prompted national courts and legislatures to implement measures aimed at combating such terms. In order to bring about harmonisation of such measures in consumer contracts, the EU enacted the Unfair Terms Directive in 1993. The Commission's proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL) also addresses the issue of unfair terms, not only in consumer contracts, but also in transactions between businesses.

Standard terms contracts' are an inevitable part of everyday transactions for both businesses and consumers. Parties using such contracts may, however, rely on their advantageous position in order to impose unfair terms on the other contracting party. This has prompted national courts and legislatures to implement measures aimed at combating such terms. In order to bring about harmonisation of such measures in consumer contracts, the EU enacted the Unfair Terms Directive in 1993. The Commission's proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL) also addresses the issue of unfair terms, not only in consumer contracts, but also in transactions between businesses.