The Great Transformation; Administrative and Judicial Enforcement in Consumer Protection: A Remedial Perspective
49 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2009
Date Written: July 31, 2009
Consumer protection and its enforcement have become an important part of both market design and regulation. Increasing levels of world trade call for integrated policies with the adoption of framework, bilateral and trilateral, agreements between the European Community, the U.S. and Asia, particularly India and China. But how different are still the regional institutional frameworks? How is the evolution of each region dependent upon the developments of other areas? Are we observing a coevolutionary pattern of growth, or is regulatory competition the dominant feature of the relationship between different regional legal systems of consumer protection enforcement? In order to answer these questions one needs to examine the important legislative changes occurring both in Europe and in the U.S. Both ‘regions’ are reshaping their global policies, redefining the balance between private and public enforcement. Changes are made looking not only inside their legal systems but also at the global level. Existing differences presumably require complex solutions, integrating regional and global regulatory frameworks for consumer protection in a new multilevel system. The relationship between public and private enforcement has changed in different ways. Relevant transformations have taken place in the domain of public enforcement, rethinking the regulatory strategies concerning consumer enforcement. Private enforcement in aggregate forms has only recently entered the scene in Europe. Its evolution has not always been entirely consistent. While it is clear that aggregate litigation will complement administrative enforcement in consumer protection, the rationales for its use may differ across sectors.
Keywords: judicial enforcement, administrative enforcement, consumer protection, remedies
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