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As emphasised in this Blog for many years, Japan has accelerated its consumer law reforms over the last two decades. Australia has also introduced major amendments since 2009, in turn prompting pending initiatives in New Zealand.

Professor Justin Malbon and I recent completed co-editing the first research monograph examining recent Trans-Tasman developments, including significant comparisons with Japan (and beyond) particularly in chapter 3 (generally) and in chapter 8 (consumer product safety regulation). Our 15-chapter book will be published by Federation Press in Sydney in late January 2013.


Foreword: Hon KE Lindgren QC AM

1. Introduction
Luke Nottage and Justin Malbon
2. Just Who is the Consumer? Policy Rationales and a Proposal for Change
Lynden Griggs and Aviva Freilich
3. Comparative Consumer Law Reform and Economic Integration
Luke Nottage, Christine Riefa and Kate Tokeley

4. Consumer Guarantees
Jeannie Paterson and Kate Tokeley
5. Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Contracts
Nyuk Yin Nahan and Eileen Webb
6. Unconscionable Conduct in Consumer and Business Transactions
Nyuk Yin Nahan and Eileen Webb
7. A General Provision on Unfair Practices?
Jeannie Paterson
8. Product Liability and Safety Regulation
Luke Nottage and Jocelyn Kellam

9. Responsible Lending, Unjust Terms and Hardship
Justin Malbon
10. Financial Literacy, Consumer Banking and Financial Advice
Gail Pearson
11. Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Consumers
Therese Wilson
12. Interest Rate Caps and Price Regulation in Consumer Credit
Nicola Howell

13. Consumer Complaints and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Justin Malbon
14. Regulatory Powers and Consistency
Paul O’Shea
15. E-commerce
Lynden Griggs

APPENDIX: Updated Submission to the Australian Government's Consultation on ‘Consumer Voices: Sustaining Advocacy and Research in Australia’s New Consumer Policy Framework’
Justin Malbon and Luke Nottage (eds)


This book is aimed primarily at policy-makers, researchers, senior students and legal practitioners interested in locating recent consumer policy debates and major law reforms in Australia, as well as subsequent initiatives in New Zealand, in a broader comparative, theoretical and historical context. Like other major projects in this complex and evolving field, the book has drawn on the expertise and experience of many expert contributors, mostly from or associated with academia. We also thank Kevin Lindgren QC AM, a former professor of law and Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, for kindly contributing the Foreword.

Many others have assisting in bringing this book project to fruition. We are very grateful to Diana Hu, Melanie Trezise and Kate Goldsworthy for research and editorial assistance, and for associated financial support from the law faculties of Monash University and the University of Sydney. We also thank The Federation Press for their proficient copy-editing and good-natured efficiency.

Chapter 2 draws partly on Griggs L, Freilich A and Webb E, ‘Challenging the Notion of a Consumer: Time for Change’ (2010) 19(1) Competition and Consumer Law Journal 52. Part II of chapter 3 updates and expands on Tokeley K, ‘Consumer Law and Policy Developments in New Zealand’ (2012) 22 Australian Product Liability Reporter. Part III of chapter 8 is based on Nottage L, ‘Suppliers' Duties to Report Product-Related Accidents Under the New Australian Consumer Law: A Comparative Critique’ (2011) 25(2) Commercial Law Quarterly 3.

This book is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor David Harland, former Challis Professor of Law at the University of Sydney and the ‘godfather’ of consumer law in Australia. He passed away unexpectedly in 2006, just before the start of the major reforms that are tracked and sometimes critiqued in this volume. We have all missed Professor Harland’s expertise and wisdom, particularly regarding comparative dimensions to consumer law and policy, but his influence can be discerned directly and indirectly throughout this work.

Justin Malbon and Luke Nottage (September 2012)

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Japanese Law in Asia-Pacific Socio-Economic Context