How to make the best of mandatory information requirements in consumer law

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EU consumer protection relies inter alia on information requirements imposing on traders the duty to provide specific and mandatory information to consumers before the conclusion of a contract. If consumers make well informed choices this can serve their individual interest, but it is also thought to contribute to a healthy market. However, the imposition of stringent and specific information requirements has been criticized from several points of view. For example, behavioural scientist have argued that more information does not necessarily lead to better decisions. From an economic point of view, information requirements can even be harmful to consumer interests. Nevertheless, information requirements form a substantive part of EU consumer protection and therefor this contribution explores how information requirements may be of added value. It is argued that information requirements can add value to consumer protection when regarded in relation to general contract law. This point is illustrated by an analyses of the information duties of the Consumer Rights Directive in relation to general contract law.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberERPL2017003
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Review of Private law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • consumer law
  • information requirements


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