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UNDER PRESSURE: REGULATING AGGRESSIVE COMMERCIAL PRACTICES IN THE UK

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

UNDER PRESSURE: REGULATING AGGRESSIVE COMMERCIAL PRACTICES IN THE UK

Peter Cartwright *

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive is perhaps the most significant piece of European consumer law to date. The Directive was implemented in the UK by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (“the CPRs” ). Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the CPRs is the creation of a regime for dealing with aggressive commercial practices, and it is surprising that the regime has received so little academic comment. This is particularly so given the novelty of the provisions and their significant implications for businesses and consumers. The purpose of this article is to examine the provisions of the CPRs which deal with aggressive commercial practices. It will be argued that the provisions introduce welcome additional protection for consumers, but that their effectiveness is compromised by a lack of clarity regarding their scope, and the existence of inadequate powers on the part of those enforcing them.

I. INTRODUCTION

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (hereafter “the Directive”) is perhaps the most significant piece of European consumer law to date.1 The Directive was implemented in the UK by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (“CPRs”).2 In
LLOYD’S MARITIME AND COMMERCIAL LAW QUARTERLY

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