Unfair business practices cause consumer harm but currently, there’s a gap in our laws to effectively protect Australian consumers.
explores laws that ban or restrict unfair practices across Europe, United States, United Kingdom and Singapore
highlights lessons Australia can learn from international approaches to implementing unfair trading laws
outlines the elements that Australia could consider when implementing an effective unfair trading prohibition.
The eight key lessons Australia can learn from international approaches:
1. Understand who the law protects
2. Harm is more than just losing money
3. Account for new and emerging issues
4. Clarity and flexibility are key
5. Poorly resourced regulators mean delayed outcomes for consumers
6. Inadequate penalties and consumer redress stifle widespread change
7. Inconsistency across the same jurisdiction creates regulatory arbitrage
8. Unfair trading laws don’t replace existing protections; they complement them
CPRC recommends lawmakers to consider some key elements when developing unfair trading laws in Australia:
Together, we have the opportunity to shape how Australian consumers today, and in the future, can be adequately protected and empowered to confidently participate in and reap the benefits of a fair, safe and inclusive market.
CPRC welcomes the opportunity to work further on this issue with government, regulators, policy makers, academia and the community sector.
If you are in one the above groups and would like a one-on-one briefing for your organisation, contact Chandni Gupta on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Policy Director
Chandni leads CPRC’s research stream on protecting consumers in a digital world. Her work to date includes exploring the consumer shift from the analogue towards the digital economy, the impact of deceptive and manipulative online design on Australian consumers and the key gaps that currently exist in Australia’s consumer protections.