Redfern Legal Centre made a submission to the Australian Consumer Law Review
Redfern Legal Centre welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the national five - year review to statutory provisions in Australian Consumer Law. This submission focused on common consumer law issues seen in RLC casework.
This submission considered the statutory structure and clarity of the ACL, the general and specific protective provisions under the ACL, proposals for a provision purporting a general prohibition on unfair commercial practice and access to remedies and scope for private action.
Redfern Legal Centre recommendations:
The ACL review Secretariat should review the effective if ‘unconscionable conduct’ as a definition and provision of the ACL. Broad consideration should be given to reframing unconscionability as ‘unfairness’ or another more accessible term.
The introduction of a general ‘unfair trading’ provision, to improve the capacity to address systemic misconduct.
Removing the ‘carve out’ of insurance contracts from the ACL unfair contract terms provisions.
Ensure that insurance contracts and conventional financial services (consumer leases in particular) are subject to general protection under the ACL.
Improve the efficiency and enforceability of dispute resolution outcomes through: the implementation of an external dispute resolution process, administered by a Retail Ombudsman scheme, or an enforceable conciliation scheme, administered by consumer protection agencies.
A general prohibition of unsolicited sales, particularly through door to door sales and cold call telemarketing.
In December 2016, RLC made a further submission in response to the interim report for the five-year review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Our submission reinforced our recommendations to improve consumer protections and improve the efficacy of the dispute resolution process.