The commencement of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), within the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, on 1 January, 2011 has brought about comprehensive changes to the consumer protection and product liability provisions of the former Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA). Australian Consumer Law: Commentary and Materials, 4E explains the obligations of businesses and the rights of consumers under the ACL. While the primary focus is on the provisions of the ACL itself, the work also considers other laws that are intended to protect consumers, including those relating to Industry Codes, financial products and financial services, and electronic commerce. The work is divided into five parts: Part I summarises the policy objectives and key concepts. Part II explains the general protections in the ACL, including the regulation of misleading conduct, unconscionable conduct and unfair terms and the scope for overlap between them. Part III explores the specific protections in the ACL, including false or misleading representations and unfair practices, consumer guarantees, which are based on the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (NZ), and consumer agreements. Part IV considers the content of the product liability provisions of the ACL, including product recall, safety standards, safety bans and notices, mandatory reporting and the liability of manufacturers for goods with safety defects. Part V examines the new array of public enforcement mechanisms available to the ACCC and the State and Territory regulators, as well as the rights of redress that are available to consumers through private actions. Because there are as yet no decided cases interpreting the new consumer guarantee provisions of the ACL, the work includes a number of leading New Zealand cases that may be of persuasive authority in interpreting the equivalent ACL provisions.
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