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Contracts: Unfair Terms

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs (Ian McCartney) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission published a report on unfair terms in contracts in February 2005 (Law Com No. 292;Scots Law Com No. 199). It sets out detailed recommendations, together with a draft Bill designed to produce a unified regime replacing the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 for the whole of the UK in a way that is much clearer and easier to follow, and also addresses some gaps in protection that the commissions identified. I am grateful for the Law Commissions’ detailed and comprehensive report and for their extensive consultations on the issues involved, and I appreciate their commitment to this project.

This project was undertaken jointly by the Law Commissions at the request of both the Department of Trade and Industry and the then Lord Chancellor’s Department, now the Department for Constitutional Affairs. The Government have carefully considered the Law Commissions’ report and are content in principle to accept the recommendations for reform. This acceptance is subject to further consideration of the detail of the issues, and to further work to identify potential cost impacts. The proposed legislation will be subject to full public consultation.