LAWCOMM 457 - ST: Consumer Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: First Semester
Contact hours: Lectures – 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Karen Fairweather
Pre-requisite: LAW 241

Course description

This course provides an advanced, in-depth examination of laws designed specifically or primarily to protect consumers.

Content outline

The course will consider the particular vulnerabilities of consumers, the theoretical rationales for consumer law and the panoply of regulatory techniques that can be deployed in the protection of consumers. There will be a particular focus on: misleading and deceptive conduct under s 9 of the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA); other instances of unfair conduct under Part 1, FTA; consumer guarantees in respect of goods and services under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993; unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contracts under s 26A, FTA; layby sale agreements under ss 36B-J, FTA; uninvited direct sale agreements under ss 36K-S, FTA; enforcement and remedies; selected issues in consumer credit law.  


3000 word assignment (40%)

2 hour open book exam (60%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Recommended texts

Course materials will be distributed.

Students will also need current reprints of the following statutes:

  •             Fair Trading Act 1986
  •             Consumer Guarantees Act 1993

 K Tokeley (ed), Consumer Law in New Zealand, (2nd edn, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2014) is a particularly useful text, which provides coverage of many of the issues and topics explored in this course.  D Wilson, The Fair Trading Act Handbook, (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2018) is more up to date, but focusses (as the title suggests) exclusively on the FTA. A comprehensive account of consumer credit law can be found in B Allan, Law of Consumer Credit (Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2017). To the extent that many of the provisions of the FTA were modelled on Australian law, students might also find it helpful to refer to P Clarke and S Erbacher, Australian Consumer Law: Commentary and Materials (6th edn, Lawbook Co, Sydney, 2018) and R Miller, Miller’s Australian Competition and Consumer Law Annotated (40th edn, Lawbook Co, Sydney, 2018).