The consumer law system within Australia is ruled at both Federal and State Level.
At the Federal level, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) governs Consumer Law and is regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Australian Consumer Law, as set out in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), provides for consumer protection.
Consumers and business can have claims under this legislation and the WA Fair Trading Act.
The Fair Trading Legislation for each state is an adaption of the Federal level Australian Consumer Law which is regulated by the consumer protection agencies in the relevant state.
Commercial disputes – The issue of misleading and or deceptive conduct frequently arises in the context of commercial disputes.
Misleading or deceptive conduct - the ACL contains a ban against any form of misleading or deceptive conduct. For this to be applicable, you must have been engaging ín trade or commerce’ at the time the alleged conduct occurred.
Unfair contracts – The Australian Consumer Law includes an unfair contract terms law which is applied to all standard form consumer contracts. If any term of the standard form consumer contract is deemed to be unfair then the consumer contract may be voided.
False or misleading statements – It is imperative that businesses ensure that statements made by a person representing the business are not in any way false or misleading.
Unconscionable conduct – Businesses are prohibited from engaging in unconscionable conduct against consumers and other businesses. Contained within the ACL are a list of factors that the court may consider to determine if a business has partaken in unconscionable conduct.
Consumer guarantees – There are 12 guarantees within the ACL that cover all goods and services purchased by consumers. A consumer can be either a business or an individual depending on certain circumstances. Should one of the 12 guarantees not be met then the consumer is entitled to a remedy, the types of which, are set out within the ACL.
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